COVID may be here to stay says expert as 2 Bay Area politicians test positive


(KRON) — No one is immune to COVID including mayors and supervisors, especially with full schedules that often include meetings with several people and attending large events. On Monday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf was one of hundreds at Presidio Middle School for a Salesforce Event.

Her office put out a release Thursday announcing that she has tested positive for COVID after experiencing symptoms this week.

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong says context is everything when it comes to close contact tracing.

“If your nose and mouth is close to somebody else’s nose and mouth for an extended period of time, you’re going to be,” said Chin-Hong.

COVID numbers may be going down, but Mayor Schaff’s case is a reminder that spread is still possible.

“The most vulnerable people I’m worried about, which is immune compromised and those who are older. Particularly who have been upboosted,” said Chin-Hong.

Mayor Schaaf isn’t the only politician who received a positive COVID test result this week.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez’s office says she is experiencing mild symptoms and quarantining at home after also testing positive. Omicron and its subvariants are still rearing their ugly heads.

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“Many people believe that omicron is just so good at transmission that it’s hard to kick it by somebody else,” Chin-Hong said.

The doctor says it’s likely BA.5 will remain the dominant variant through fall and winter. That’s why he’s encouraging everyone to take advantage of the newest vaccine before the holidays, especially for those who are immunocompromised, or 65 and older.

“If you’re getting this current booster which is updated to BA.4 and BA.5., it means that your protection will last for many months, not just a few weeks,” Chin-Hong said.

We all want to see COVID go, but Dr. Chin-Hong says one good thing about having one variant stick around is longer lasting antibodies for those who test positive.

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