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Latest COVID-19 Information With Dr. Jayne Middlebrooks Morgan On WCLK's The Local Take

COVID 19 VIRUS.PNG
COVID19 Virus. The Omicron variant is dominating the rise in infections.

This week we reached out to Dr. Jayne Middlebrooks Morgan, the executive director for the COVID Task Force for Piedmont Hospital Group in Georgia, about living with COVID-19 in 2022.

The OMICRON variant has overtaken the DELTA variant in the State of Georgia.

We ask Morgan about new guidelines from the CDC regarding positive COVID19 test results. Morgan explains that you should isolate for five days. Wear a mask at all times after the five days if you are in public. If you do a self-test at the five-day mark and the test remains positive, continue isolation for five more days.

We ask her how OMICRON is different? Dr. Morgan explains that most of the cases in the United States are OMICRON, which has taken over the DELTA variant. Dr. Morgan explains the variants and mutations. The challenge with variants is that they may evade the vaccine. OMICRON can partially evade the vaccine. If you are fully vaccinated, your OMICRON immunity is effective at 35%. With the booster, your immunity is increased to 75%. This will protect you from getting very ill, going to the hospital, or dying.

The OMICRON variant can partially evade our vaccines and our monoclonal antibodies. Two of our tools to fight COVID19.

We ask Dr. Morgan to explain OMICRON. Even though it may not cause severe disease, it is highly contagious and transmissible. This will drive the numbers up in our hospitals. It is threatening to overwhelm our system. OMICRON will infect millions of people. The virus doesn’t want to kill its host. It just wants to spread.

There is a stark difference in the data for vaccinated people and those who are not. The majority of the people who are COVID-19 positive and admitted to a hospital are not vaccinated. The variants arise in unvaccinated people. Then the virus can mutate, and new variants develop—another reason you need to get vaccinated. There is still vaccine hesitancy. We’re at approximately 63% of the country's population is vaccinated. We may reach herd immunity through native immunity.

We ask Dr. Morgan what it means to move from a pandemic to an endemic. She shares that this may mean that we’re getting an annual booster.

Dr. Morgan speaks about the long-term effects of having COVID-19. COVID-19 Long Hauler’s Syndrome. The long-term symptoms can be avoided with the vaccine.

For information about COVID19 Vaccination
For information about COVID19 Testing

What we know about the symptoms—and the severity of the omicron variant