Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Hopeful signs point to mild holiday COVID wave

A COVID-19 testing site at San Diego State University. Jan. 15, 2021.
Alexander Nguyen
A COVID-19 testing site at San Diego State University. Jan. 15, 2021.

Deaths and hospitalizations from COVID-19 continue to fall across the country and there are more hopeful signs emerging in the near future.

This comes as a pair of new variants of concern — BN.1 and BQ.1.1 — are beginning to take hold across California and the United States.

The good news? Nations that have already contended with the new variants have not reported increases in hospitalizations as a result.

As Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute explained, this emerging data combined with a relatively stable COVID-19 case rate in San Diego County could suggest a mild wave for the months ahead.

"If things continue as they are right now," Topol said, "We could be avoiding a significant wave, even though we have the holiday gatherings."

Despite these hopeful signs, Topol said masks are still an important tool for limiting the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory viruses like flu and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Earlier this week, the California Department of Health recorded its first death of a child under the age of five from RSV.

Topol joined Midday Edition on Wednesday with more on the latest COVID-19 news.

Explore all national, state and local returns now.