By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The CDC is no longer predicting new COVID-19 hospitalizations will continue their decline in the coming weeks, but the agency still expects COVID deaths to continue to fall.  The latest CDC estimates come amid a warning of another major surge later this year.

The FDA’s vaccine chief said Wednesday there are at least three factors putting us at risk for another major wave of COVID this fall and winter.

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“The virus, which has shown its ability to change over time to evade our immune systems, will have had at least six more months to further evolve,” said Dr. Peter Marks.

Marks cited waning vaccine protection and the onset of colder weather as other factors.  The warning comes amid an FDA discussion about strategy for future booster shot campaigns.

“We’re not saying which population necessarily needs to be boosted, come next fall-winter. I think that’s for the committee to discuss,” Marks said.

The CDC says a subvariant of Omicron called BA.2 is now the dominant strain in the United States, making up more than 72% of positive cases nationwide, with the highest prevalence in the northeast.

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In the area around Syracuse, New York, where cases have been rising for weeks, the uptick isn’t holding back travel plans.

With the government lifting most COVID restrictions, health experts say it’s up to each individual to assess their own personal risk.

“The only people we can ultimately trust is ourselves and knowing that we can do the right thing, we can get vaccinated. If we have symptoms, we can get tested. If we’re infected, that we stay home from work or don’t go to school,” said Dr. Céline Gounder, the editor-at-large for public health at the Kaiser Family Foundation’s Kaiser Health News.

On Broadway, positive COVID tests have sidelined actor Matthew Broderick in the revival of “Plaza Suite” as well as Daniel Craig in a new production of “Macbeth.”

In California, some downward trends have stalled with San Francisco logging the highest rate of new infections. But health experts say cases are still way lower than the height of the winter surge.

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The Bay Area is reporting about 700 new cases a day. That’s a fraction from the peak of more than 18,000 daily cases during the winter surge, but still much higher than the 200 daily cases reported last summer. Team