Coronavirus cases are expected to rise in the next few weeks due to the highly-contagious BA.2 subvariant, a cousin of the omicron variant.

Details: New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that COVID-19 cases linked to the BA.2 subvariant have been tripling every two weeks, per ABC News.

  • On March 11, the BA.2 variant made up 23.1% of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
  • Two weeks beforehand, the variant represented 7.1% of all cases.

What they’re saying: “I would expect that we might see an uptick in cases here in the United States because, only a week or so ago, the CDC came out with their modification of the metrics for what would be recommended for masking indoors, and much of the country right now is in that zone, where masking indoors is not required,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told KGTV Wednesday.

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The bigger picture: Concerns over the BA.2 variant come as COVID-19 cases have been rising overseas, leading to major outbreaks in Asia and Europe.

What they’re saying: “Why wouldn’t it come here? Are we vaccinated enough? I don’t know,” Kimberly Prather, a professor of atmospheric chemistry and an expert on aerosol transmission at the University of California at San Diego, told The Washington Post.

  • “So I’m wearing my mask still. … I am the only person indoors, and people look at me funny, and I don’t care.”