Indy doctor: Winter surge can be avoided; here’s why

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — In winter 2020, coronavirus cases and deaths were at their peaks, and health officials attributed this to freezing temperatures and holiday travel.  

But this year — even as the delta variant continues to hit hard — doctors are optimistic this winter will look very different from last year. 

According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, the United States is averaging 72,000 new cases per day compared to the 172,000 daily cases seen in early September. This is a 58% drop, and suggests cases could continue to decline when winter weather arrives.  

“If you’re vaccinated and are around other vaccinated people I think it’s actually going to be OK, “ Dr. Ram Yeleti, chief physician executive at Community Health Network, said. “I’m not going to say you’re not going to get COVID — you may get COVID — but not have a serious episode of it. The biggest group we need to be concerned about are those who are unvaccinated and those who are highly vulnerable. Those people with those issues really have to be careful. But for people who are vaccinated — and as long as we take the appropriate precautions — it should be reasonable.”

Yeleti also says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hasn’t declared other virus mutations a variant of interest or concern and believes there is no reason to think new variants will pop up in the colder months.