Health

How omicron is changing public health rules in these NorCal counties

County public health officials in Northern California are closely watching news regarding the omicron variant, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified it as a “variable of concern” earlier this week. “We need to be prepared, which means people need to get vaccinated and get a booster shot where possible,” said John Faust, a Yolo County public health spokesperson. Yolo County has not found a positive case of omicron from its testing at UC Davis yet, but it says KCRA 3 rules and guidelines could change as new information comes in over the next few weeks. Dr. said. Olivia Cassiri, Sacramento County Public Health Officer. “Within the next two weeks you will be able to learn more about the efficacy of the vaccine using the omicron variant.” According to experts and the state’s Department of Public Health, people found with the omicron variant appear to be younger and show milder symptoms. Omicron also contains more mutations than has been seen in previous variants, with scientists finding between 30 and 50 mutations so far. I know there is an increased demand for people seeking vaccination appointments,” added Hannah Aalborg, Sacramento County Public Health Program Coordinator. “Sixty percent of people coming in are getting a booster shot. Forty percent receive their first or second dose of the vaccine.” Increased interest in immunization is a trend occurring in Yolo and Sacramento counties. Officials say that may come from the widespread availability of the booster, and general public interest when people gather for the holidays. “We have a lot,” Aalborg said. of available vaccines.” At a public health briefing Thursday, Dr. Kasiri also revealed Sacramento County’s new ability to test for different types of COVID-19. “Almost all samples still show a delta variant,” she said. “But having these The ability will allow us to do surveillance and look for the omicron variant as well.” Sacramento County Public Health is asking residents to continue to follow current concealment guidelines and other COVID-19 safety guidelines at this time. “We are concerned,” said Dr. Maggie Park, San Joaquin County Public Information Officer. About all the mutations scientists see on the variant, but it’s not time to freak out.” Park said there are no signs of omicron detected in San Joaquin County as of today, and she doesn’t expect changes to public health guidelines. current nation at the moment. “We still have our recommendations and as always, it’s to hide the mask indoors and in public, wash your hands, and not go to work if you’re sick,” Park said. Rates in San Joaquin also appear to be slowly declining. “It’s currently 10.5 per 100,000 people, which is the best it has been in several months,” she said. “These numbers are not great, we would like to see if there is a further decline. We are encouraging people to get tested especially if you are going on vacation.”

County public health officials across Northern California are closely watching news regarding the omicron variant, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classified it as a “variable of concern” earlier this week.

“We need to be prepared, which means people need to be vaccinated and get a booster dose where possible,” said John Faust, a Yolo County public health spokesperson.

Yolo County has not found a positive case of omicron from its testing at UC Davis yet, but it says KCRA 3 rules and guidelines could change as new information comes in over the next few weeks.

We’re still learning a lot,” said Dr. Olivia Cassiri, Sacramento County Public Health Officer. “Within the next two weeks we will be able to learn more about the efficacy of the vaccine with the omicron variant.”

According to experts and the state’s Department of Public Health, people found with the omicron variant appear to be younger and have milder symptoms. Omicron also contains more mutations than has been observed in previous variants, with scientists finding between 30 and 50 mutations so far.

Public health officials say vaccination remains the best form of protection, as more information about Omicron is revealed.

“We know there is an increased demand for people seeking vaccination appointments,” added Hannah Aalborg, Sacramento County Public Health Program Coordinator. “Sixty percent of people who come in get a booster. Forty percent get their first or second dose of the vaccine.”

Increased interest in vaccination is a trend occurring in Yolo and Sacramento counties. Officials say that may come from the widespread availability of the booster, and the general interest when people gather for the holidays.

“We have a lot of vaccines available,” Aalborg said.

At a public health briefing Thursday, Dr. Kasirye also revealed Sacramento County’s new ability to test for different types of COVID-19.

“Almost all samples still show a delta variant,” she said. “But having this ability will allow us to do the observation and look for the omicron variant as well.”

Sacramento County Public Health is asking residents to continue to follow current masking guidelines and other COVID-19 safety guidelines at this time.

“We’re concerned about all the mutations scientists are seeing on the variant, but it’s not time to freak out,” said Dr. Maggie Park, San Joaquin County Public Information Officer.

Park said there are no signs of omicron detected in San Joaquin County as of today, and she does not expect adjustments to current public health guidelines at this time.

“We still have our recommendations, and as always, we should mask indoors and in public and wash your hands, and don’t go to work if you’re sick,” Park said.

Park added that, similar to Sacramento County, transmission rates in San Joaquin appear to be slowly declining.

“It’s currently 10.5 per 100,000 people, which is the best it has been in several months,” she said. “These numbers are not great, we would like to see if there is a further decline. We are encouraging people to get tested especially if you are going on vacation.”

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