COVID-19 cases continue to pop up in the Northeastern US as the XBB subvariant becomes the most common source of illness.
XBB, a subvariant of omicron, was responsible for 52.6% of cases in New England from Dec. 18 to Dec. 24, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is up from 34.3% of cases the week prior, and 20% the week before that.
A sign inside a tent reminds people to wear masks at the joint Clark County-City of Las Vegas ISO-Q (Isolation and Quarantine) Complex for the homeless that was constructed in the parking lot at Cashman Center in response to the coronavirus pandemic on April 13, 2020, in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
The World Health Organization (WHO) has stated that XBB does not “diverge sufficiently” from the overall omicron phenotype to warrant its own designation.
“Based on currently available evidence, the TAG-VE does not feel that the overall phenotype of XBB* and BQ.1* diverge sufficiently from each other, or from other Omicron lineages with additional immune escape mutations, in terms of the necessary public health response, to warrant the designation of new variants of concern and assignment of a new label,” the WHO wrote in an October 2022 report.
The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains monkeypox’s status as a global health emergency. (REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo)
The organization added, “The two sublineages remain part of Omicron, which continues to be a variant of concern.”
President Biden had said during a television interview ahead of the midterm elections that the COVID-19 pandemic “is over.”
President Biden walks to speak to reporters as he and first lady Jill Biden leave the White House and walk to Marine One on the South Lawn on Dec. 27, 2022, in Washington, D.C. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)
“Is the pandemic over?” a reporter asked Biden. “The pandemic is over. We still have a problem with COVID. We’re still doing a lot of work on it,” Biden responded.
In October, the US government lengthened the public health emergency status for the COVID-19 pandemic despite Biden’s remarks.
The move extends the order through Jan. 11, 2023, as health officials warn once more of a winter surge.
Fox News’ Julia Musto and Adam Sabes contributed to this report.
Timothy Nerozzi is a writer for Fox News Digital. You can follow him on Twitter @timothynerozzi and can email him at email@example.com