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Coronavirus California: Amid mask rollback, COVID vaccine forces Bay Area to see spike in cold and flu cases

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SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — For the first time in a long time, things are really starting to get back to normal in the Bay Area.

Many Bay Area residents are returning to the office for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic began and COVID warrants are down.

“It’s a little more normal,” said Chelsey Myers, a teacher at Hayes Elementary School. “But at the same time, there are still a lot of germs floating around.”

As the masks come off, there is more chance of the disease spreading.

Meyers says she just recovered from a cold that spread through her classroom.

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“I felt like it was going to happen and yes, I was right,” Myers said.

“I think we’ve been a COVID country for two years, but if what we’ve seen in the community is any indication, there’s been a recovery in a lot of other things,” said COVID-19 expert Dr Peter Chin. infectious diseases from UCSF. -Hong said.

Dr Chin-Hong says his hospital is seeing an increase in flu and cold cases as well as allergy complaints.

“Usually we have several colds a year for most people,” Dr Chin-Hong said. “I think not having one means when you get one it lasts a bit longer.”

Dr Chin-Hong says it’s important to get tested for the flu or COVID to rule out something serious, then start working on how best to protect yourself and others.

WATCH: Flu, cold or COVID? How to respond to symptoms

“As we return to a complex work environment, you want to be productive, but you also want to keep your environment as safe as possible,” Dr Chin-Hong said.

This means going back to cleaning surfaces, washing your hands, not touching your face and calling in sick if necessary.

Dr. Chin-Hong also suggests taking appropriate medications for the specific symptoms you’re experiencing so you can get back to your normal life.

“Go out and enjoy things while things are going well, like right now, because you never know when the next wave is going to come,” Dr Chin-Hong said. “But it’s really crucial to keep your street smarts, not just about COVID, but about all these other respiratory pathogens that you can transmit extremely easily.”

VACCINE TRACKER: How is California doing, when you can get a coronavirus vaccine

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