TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As of July 2, COVID-19’s BA.5 variant of Omicron was the dominant version of the coronavirus infecting Americans. According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, BA.5 currently accounts for 65% of all COVID infections in the United States.
In the Southeast portion of U.S., called Region 4, the subvariant makes up 66.5% of the infections. The states in Region 4 are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, ,Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
The next variant with the closest proportional infection level was BA.2.12.1, with 17.7% of infections in the region. The currently available CDC data for variant portions is current through July 9.
The CDC reports that in the past seven days of data, current through July 10, 67,807 cases have been confirmed in Florida, with a testing positivity rate of 20 to 24.9%. There have been 42 reported deaths in that seven day period.
Levels of COVID-19 in communities across the state have lowered in some areas. However, the community level is still high in Tampa Bay and other more urban, populated areas such as Miami-Dade County or Leon County, where the state capitol is.
The CDC reports the BA.5 “lineage” of COVID-19 has “potential increased transmissibility, potential reduction in neutralization by some EUA monoclonal antibody treatments, and potential reduction in neutralization by post-vaccination sera.”
The BA.5 version of COVID-19 is a subvariant of Omicron, and was first detected in South Africa.