HOUSTON — Why do the new variants of COVID-19 make it possible to even catch it outside?
Since the start of this pandemic, health officials have warned us all about being unmasked indoors.
The general guidance was that it was safe to get together with others outside. But now some new variants are changing the game and the guidance.
That being said, outdoor events are still considered way less risky than indoor gatherings. But they may be getting a little riskier.
That's all thanks to the new omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5.
Doctors say they are sneakier at slipping past vaccines and natural immunity.
An infectious disease expert at UC San Francisco says even if you got omicron back in January, you can still get the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.
That’s because those infamous spike proteins look different enough that our antibodies aren’t recognizing them.
The good news is while vaccine and natural immunity may not prevent infection, they still are doing a pretty good job at preventing hospitalizations and deaths.
With these new very easily transmissible variants, it’s likely that short periods of close contact could result in infection.
That means you might want to mask up if you are at a crowded outdoor event.
If you are hosting an event outside, give people plenty of space.
And if you are holding a get together like a wedding, you may want to ask guests to take a rapid test first.