5 must-knows about the winter surge, according to infectious disease specialists

David M. Souleles, MPH, Director of COVID-19 Response at the University of California, Irvine tells us …. “In general, people are gathering more this year than last, and most masking requirements have been lifted, so people are masking less, which creates more opportunities for transmission of the virus. … The BA.4 and BA.5 COVID-19 variants, as well as emerging variants that are beginning to circulate, all appear to transit more readily than prior variants, meaning your risk of infection after an exposure may be higher given that the variants are more transmissible.”