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Keeping tabs on COVID-19 in Ohio as cases continue to rise

COVID-19 has no intention of leaving the planet, but will it get worse?

CLEVELAND — Even as Ohio COVID-19 cases tick up, it's likely there are thousands more dealing with COVID, but they aren't testing and aren't sick enough to need medical care.  

NBC reports the FDA should sign off on the new COVID booster Friday, and the CDC discusses it next week, so new vaccines will be available before the end of the month.

While they're targeting a variant dominant earlier this year, experts say it should be effective against its related variants now circulating. The good news is the FDA says existing at-home tests can detect new variants, but they're no longer free, unless you know where to look. Check HERE

Private insurers are covering vaccines and treatments, but you may have a co-pay. 

HHS is starting the Bridge to Access program this fall to help those underinsured or uninsured obtain access to through pharmacies and providers.

Experts still advise everyone consider getting boosted, even the young and healthy. 

More good news, the most recent variant known as Pirola, with its 30 mutations, may not be as dangerous as first thought. At least that's what several lab tests are showing. 

What will be an issue is our typical cold and flu season. Influenza, COVID and RSV and every other virus floating around could cause problems. 

Those who are older, pregnant or immunocompromised should be more cautious and consider masking and avoiding crowds.  Avoid the spread, wash your hands, don't touch your face, stay home if sick, mask if vulnerable and talk to your health provider about vaccination options. 

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