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UVA Health COVID Update: The Bottom Line for Dec. 16, 2021

COVID at UVA Health: By the Numbers

What You Need to Know: Don't Throw Caution (or Masks) to the Wind

The pandemic isn't over.

COVID in Charlottesville: What We Know

Currently, COVID cases have doubled in Charlottesville and risen in the surrounding areas in the last few weeks. Most cases happen in the unvaccinated, but getting the vaccine doesn't 100% prevent either infection or hospitalization.

Neither does having COVID. Having been sick with the virus provides you some protection from getting it again. But that isn't foolproof.

Also, the Virginia Department of Health announced Virginia's first case of the omicron variant on December 9.

COVID Fact of the Week: Did you know? Heat and time both kill the virus. Any COVID virus on a mask becomes inactive after a few days. You can also heat masks at 160° F for an hour or boil them in water. Whatever you do, don't stop wearing your mask!

What We Don't Know

Bill Petri, MD, infectious disease expert, calls the omicron variant "very threatening" because of its transmissibility. But we're still waiting to see the extent of the mutation's impact.

We don't know if more COVID variants will crop up. But with places in the world lagging behind in vaccination rates, the potential for the virus to mutate remains.

Get Vaccinated

COVID vaccines are the best way to protect you and your family members.

The Bottom Line

Without knowing what to expect, Petri and other experts monitoring COVID at UVA Health recommend continued caution. Get vaccinated, get your booster, keep wearing masks, follow prevention measures to stay safe.

Visitor Rules at UVA Health

Whether you're going to a clinic appointment or spending the night in the hospital, make sure you know the policies for who can come with you or see you. See our current visitor guidelines.

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