DENVER (KDVR) — As the BA.5 subvariant of omicron has become the dominant strain across the country, it is likely to reach that status in Colorado if it hasn’t already, based on the trends and latest data from the state health department.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data, BA.5 made up 38% of all COVID cases in the state during the week of June 19, based on genome sequencing from the state’s wastewater surveillance system. The BA.2.12.1 variant accounted for 45% of cases.

Courtesy: CDPHE

Considering the share of BA.5 doubled from the previous week, it is likely the variant has become the dominant strain in the nearly two weeks since.

The latest omicron variants, BA.4 and BA.5, have become incredibly evasive to the body’s immune response, as people getting infected for the second time becomes more common.

“The superpower of BA.4 and BA.5 is, if you had omicron in January, you’re still going to be susceptible to getting BA.4 and BA.5. It’s the escape artist of COVID, the Houdini, because the spike protein looks so different, even (compared) to BA.1. The front guards, the antibodies, are not recognizing it,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, a UC San Francisco infectious disease expert.

The subvariant’s surge in Colorado comes at a time when hospitalizations are stalling, and positivity rates have been rising in the state for two weeks straight.