SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — On Monday, the CDC updated its guidelines regarding COVID-19, no longer recommending social distancing for those that are healthy, or quarantining for those that are exposed to the virus.
Dr. Tim Connelly of Memorial Health said he agrees with the CDC’s updated guidelines. He said recent studies show that the incubation period for the omicron sub-variants BA.4 and BA.5 is only a few days.
Meaning, that the highest chance for severe outbreaks in local schools is behind us.
“The incubation period for the BA.4 and the BA.5 is somewhere between 2 to 5 days and we’re well beyond the two to five day period where the majority of schools in our region have started, and we have yet to see a very large surge in COVID-19 cases despite people going back to school, so if we were going to see that surge we probably would have seen it last week,” said Connelly, Internal Medicine Physician at Memorial Health.
On any given day, Memorial Health is seeing between 20 to 30 people hospitalized with the virus. With two to four patients needing ventilators.
According to Connelly, the U.S. is moving towards herd immunity.
“Around 95% of people have some degree of protective antibodies with COVID,” Connelly said. “I know that unfortunately, we’re not at a 95% vaccination level but so many people have gotten COVID at least one or two of the strains, then they’ve accepted the fact that there’s some natural immunity to getting COVID and between the vaccinations and people getting COVID, a majority of the population does pretty well when they get infected.”
Doctors want you to remember that immuno-compromised and certain high-risk individuals should continue wearing masks and socially distancing when possible.
But for those without any underlying health issues, Connelly says the negatives of further restrictions far outweigh the benefits.
“The risks of continued isolation, quarantine, shutting down businesses, the toll that it’s taken on people’s mental health and well being, as well as in the school system holding back kids from learning has definitely taken its toll on people,” Connelly said. “The risks of that outweigh the benefits at this point,”
Doctors here at Memorial Health continue to recommend COVID vaccines for those that have yet to get them. Saying, of the few severe COVID cases they’re dealing with nearly all of the patients are unvaccinated.