With the peak of the omicron surge in the rearview mirror, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is dropping. But Mayo Clinic COVID-19 experts caution — vaccination and boosters are still key:

“Vaccination has moved us to a very different place than we would have been without it. We still have had surges. We still have had record high hospitalizations. But without vaccination, this would have been so much more devastating. In the hospital, the majority of patients are unvaccinated.”

Dr. Melanie Swift says as we start to see municipalities relax some of their masking requirements, individuals have to make their own decision about their own risk.  She says people who wear a disposable surgical mask in public have a 65% lower risk of getting COVID-19. It improves to 85% if you’re wearing an N95 mask.