CDC says BA.5 variant expected to make up 65% of U.S. COVID-19 cases

During the White House COVID-19 response team briefing on Tuesday, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said the BA.5 variant of COVID-19 is expected to make up 65% of U.S. cases, and the BA.4 variant is expected to represent 16% of cases.

Video Transcript

ROCHELLE WALENSKY: As you all know by now, each week, CDC updates genomic surveillance data so that we can monitor what variants are present in each region of the country. Over the last several weeks Omicron sub-lineages BA.4 and BA.5 have been increasing in the United States. These are sub-lineages of the Omicron variant or variations of the initial Omicron strain and decedents of the virus that initially circulated in 2020.

CDC has been closely monitoring both BA.4 BA.5 since it first emerged in South Africa, and we've been reporting on these sub-lineages in the United States since their detection in April. On this slide, CDC's weekly Nowcast estimate indicates that BA.5 is predicted to represent 65% of circulating variants and BA.4 is predicted to represent 16%.