Local health professional are weighing in on the current status of COVID and if we are entering the final stages of the virus.

Here is more on what is being said and the recommendations for keeping cases low.

People are speculating that we have entered the final days of COVID as cases remain low.

However, health professionals have a different take on where we stand with COVID.

A virus is considered endemic once cases are steady and there are no recurring spikes or declines of waves of infections.

A local medical advisor told us why endemic is not the correct term to describe the current state of COVID.

“Every time we’ve had a change in mutations, we’ve had another surge of infections,” said Dr. Howard Nadworny, Erie County Department of Health.

Dr. Nadworny does not agree that we are in the end stage of COVID, but say we are in an endemic stage due to the prevalence of the virus.

“It’s endemic in the sense hat it’s likely not to go away, but it’s still epidemic in the fact that every time there’s a mutation there’s another wave of infection,” said Dr. Nadworny.

One local doctor recalls how the low cases in Erie have reflected in the distribution of booster shots among adults.

“Most of them have already been vaccinated. Some of them however have not had their booster vaccine and some patients or persons are also eligible for their second booster. We haven’t seen full use of the booster shots and the second booster shots at this time,” said Dr. Nancy Weissbach, M.D., Infectious Disease Specialist at Saint Vincent Health Center.

Health professionals recommend continuing COVID-19 protocols such as keeping vaccines and boosters while also wearing a mask to keep cases moderately low.

“Right now the most effective tool for preventing COVID spread is people wearing masks,” said Dr. Nadworny.

“We do encourage anyone who is eligible to get their third vaccine of an MRNA vaccine which would be their first booster or their second booster if they’re eligible to go ahead and get their vaccinations,” said Dr. Weissbach.

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Dr. Weissbach said that we are not there yet, but she believes we are close to seeing the end of COVID-19.