CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Some Lowcountry hospitals are seeing more patients with COVID-19 as two new variants become dominant in the United States.

BA4 and BA5 make up over 80 percent of COVID-19 cases in the United States as of this week. In Charleston, hospitals have different numbers of COVID-19 patients in their care. Most of the cases are minor.

“We’re not seeing the rapid hospitalizations of the severity of illness that we’ve seen with the initial omicron variant,” said Dr. Jane Appleby, the Chief Medical Officer at Trident Health.

The Medical University of South Carolina is seeing dozens of patients who have the virus.

“We’re pretty experienced in this point in time in dealing with COVID patients, but it is a stress. COVID patients are challenging to treat because they require isolation,” said Dr. Michael Sweat, a Professor at the Medical University of South Carolina. “The capacity to take care of patients is really fine. We’re well capacitated as are the other area hospitals.” 

New COVID-19 Variants

  • Vaccine Resistant
  • Easily Transmissible
  • Limited Risk of Severe Illness

Dr. Appleby says that this is part of the new normal as COVID-19 mutates more and more.

“I think COVID is here with us to stay a little bit and we will become really good at helping to prevent ourselves from being sick,” said Dr. Appleby.