With another covid winter upon us, a new variant, XBB.1.5, is dominating the latest coronavirus surge in the United States. Although hospitalizations have started to decline, public health experts warn the country still faces elevated levels of the coronavirus and other respiratory viruses.
Read the answers to your questions below. Please note that some questions were edited for accuracy and clarity. For more information on the newest vaccines, our reporters created a detailed guide on bivalent boosters inspired by the discussion.
Looking for more? Read some our recent coronavirus coverage:
Alexandra Pannoni, newsroom talent and community editor, produced this Q&A.
Coronavirus: What you need to know
Vaccines: The CDC recommends that everyone age 5 and older get an updated covid booster shot. New federal data shows adults who received the updated shots cut their risk of being hospitalized with covid-19 by 50 percent. Here’s guidance on when you should get the omicron booster and how vaccine efficacy could be affected by your prior infections.
New covid variant: The XBB.1.5 variant is a highly transmissible descendant of omicron that is now estimated to cause about half of new infections in the country. We answered some frequently asked questions about the bivalent booster shots.
Guidance: CDC guidelines have been confusing — if you get covid, here’s how to tell when you’re no longer contagious. We’ve also created a guide to help you decide when to keep wearing face coverings.
Where do things stand? See the latest coronavirus numbers in the U.S. and across the world. In the U.S., pandemic trends have shifted and now White people are more likely to die from covid than Black people. Nearly nine out of 10 covid deaths are people over the age 65.
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