The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people wear masks indoors and in public spaces if the COVID-19 community levels are high as two new omicron variants gain momentum and are on the path to becoming the dominant strains.

Driving the news: The health agency’s data shows that these COVID-19 subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, make up close to 35% of new infections in the United States as the daily new COVID-19 case averages rise to 100,000 a day.

See what the new COVID-19 vaccine option is for children, teens
Does a faint line mean your COVID-19 test is positive?
  • But what’s really concerning for experts is the strains’ ability to evade antibodies from vaccines or previous infection, as I previously reported.

What to expect: “That has changed our view for what will happen this summer,” said Dr. Ali Mokdad, a professor of health metrics sciences at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, per The Boston Globe. Although he still expects cases to decrease, that will happen at a much slower pace now.

  • Mokdad even pointed to the possibility of a third wave over the summer, with another rise in cases starting in October, connected to changing seasons and waning immunity — as long as there aren’t any newer variants in the race.

Symptoms to look out for: As I previously reported, the CDC has listed common symptoms for COVID-19. The symptoms are:

  • Fever or chills.
  • Cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Fatigue.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • Headache.
  • New loss of taste or smell.
  • Sore throat.
  • Congestion or runny nose.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Diarrhea.

But the most common omicron-related symptoms are:

  • Cough.
  • Fatigue.
  • Congestion.
  • Runny nose.