The state and parts of the valley are seeing a slight rise in new covid-19 infections since the start of July.

The Trumbull County Combined Health District's covid-19 case numbers show the county saw 154 news cases reported the week of June 27, 262 new cases the week of July 4 and 268 cases the week of July 11.

It's believed the BA-5 variant of the virus is to blame.

The contagious strain is linked to 78-percent of new infections across the U.S. within the last week, which is up by 10-percent according to the CDC.

Mahoning County didn't see as sharp of an increase in reported cases, but a leading valley doctor says they're seeing in more now in local hospitals.

"We're not anywhere near the numbers we were in January of 2022 or in some of the spikes of 2021, but we're seeing an increase, so we'll keep a close eye on the data and number of patients we have in the hospitals," Dr. James Kravec said, chief clinical officer at Mercy Health.

Higher levels of the virus were detected in the sewage that came from Warren, Warren Township, Lordstown, Champion and Howland. State health officials are using this method of tracking the spread of the virus to gauge community spread, because many people are testing for covid-19 at home.

Dr. Kravec believes covid will be with us from here on out. He says another booster shot could be released for those already vaccinated this fall.

"As we go into the fall, we certainly may see more cases, but this is going to happen," Kravec said.

It's going to happen from season to season, from month to month, year to year, as we go through this and I think covid is here to stay as far as a virus in our community."

He recommends people get vaccinated if they have not. He reminds people to stay home if they're sick, get tested to know if they should isolate and practice personal hygiene.

Anyone with a medical condition or concerns are advised to speak with their primary care doctors about possible additional precautions.

The Trumbull County Combined Health District and Mahoning County Public Health continue to hold vaccine clinics for the public.