NORFOLK, Va. - Golfer John Rahm was pulled from the PGA's Memorial Tournament over the weekend after testing positive for COVID-19. He was in the lead and on track to win close to $2 million.
The incident a reminder the virus is still out there, especially for people who are not vaccinated. Reports say Rahm was not fully vaccinated.
"We're sort of in this transition period right now where not everyone is vaccinated," said Dr. Bill Petri, an infectious disease expert at the University of Virginia.
Petri says rigorous testing remains important now as about 50% of the country is not vaccinated. The CDC continues to say unvaccinated people who are exposed to COVID-19 have to quarantine, but says vaccinated people do not.
"Being fully vaccinated is kind of a wonderful 'get out of jail free' card now," said Petri.
Still, with warm weather and many people vaccinated, new COVID cases have fallen dramatically.
"I think we're on a good track - the more people who get vaccinated, the less we will see COVID around in the community, so that herd immunity that we talked about early on can come into fruition," said Dr. Ryan Light from TPMG Greenbrier Family Medicine.
Experts continue to encourage people to get vaccinated as vaccine demand has dropped significantly. While vaccines are proven to help prevent the spread of COVID, breakthrough infections are still possible.
"It's not that you can't test positive after you've gotten vaccinated, but you're much less likely to be hospitalized or have severe symptoms," said Light.
Experts say we're in a different phase of the pandemic, one that will hopefully lead towards the end of it.