In recent weeks there has been a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases across the country.
A new variant, from a previously thought to be uncommon strain, now accounts for about one-tenth of circulating viruses according to the Centers for Disease Control. Locally, Ascension Via Christi has also seen some rise in new cases presenting to the hospital, though not nearly to the level of what it saw three years ago. President and CEO Bob Copple says the hospital went back to universal masking earlier this month.
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Copple says the newest variant seems to begin with a cough. He advises the public to get tested if they feel symptomatic, but strongly encourages that be done through at home testing, at your primary care provider or urgent care.

Copple says the hospital has even dealt with some staff coming down with the virus in recent weeks.
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Flu and other gastro-intestinal viruses are also circulating in the community. Copple advises folks to wash their hands and be aware as the peak cold and flu season approaches.

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