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Newer coronavirus subvariants ticking up in California amid concerns of winter wave

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Amid concerns about a potential winter COVID-19 wave, cases linked to newer coronavirus subvariants are starting to creep up in California as officials in both Los Angeles County and the San Francisco Bay Area warn that a lengthy decline in new infections appears to be stalling.

Whether this trend in coronavirus cases can be blamed on the rise of the newer strains is unclear — especially since the Omicron subvariant BA.5 remains the dominant version nationwide, as has been the case for months.

But officials have long warned that any new subvariant could imperil the progress against COVID-19, either by being inherently more infectious or better able to evade protection from vaccinations or previous infections.

The latest generation of alphanumerically designated Omicron subvariants may have such an advantage, even over the hyper-infectious BA.5.

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