Health Officials Warn of Highly Infectious Omicron
The Yakima Health District has issued a news release about growing cases of the Omicron variant.
Cases are growing in Yakima but not hospitalizations
Even though the variant is milder it's more infectious says health officials. A news release from the district says the case rate, in just two weeks, has more than quadrupled to a level that hasn't seen before during the entire pandemic. So what's the cause in the recent growth of cases? Health officials blame it on the holidays.
Health officials blame the recent increase in cases on the holidays
"This recent increase of COVID-19 cases in Yakima County is likely related to recent holidays, gatherings, and related travel. At the same time, the state of Washington is seeing the Omicron variant emerge as the dominant strain. Data demonstrates that the variant has milder symptoms in most individuals, but it is also many times more infectious than previous variants of COVID-19. Even if most infections are mild, a highly transmissible variant could result in enough cases to impact staffing levels across all sectors of business and overwhelm the healthcare system.
Health officials say If you're not vaccinated it's time for the shot
In Yakima County,COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to be more common among unvaccinated individuals than in fully vaccinated individuals.To date, 91% of COVID-19 cases and 86% of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Yakima County have been among unvaccinated residents. According to a recent report from the Washington State Department of Health, 60% of COVID-19 re-infections that have occurred in Washington State since September 2021 have been among unvaccinated individuals.
Yakima's Health Officer urges people to get vaccinated
Dr. Neil Barg, Health Officer, Yakima Health District says “the vaccines remain safe, and coupled with the booster, are protective against both Delta and the new Omicron variant. After receiving the booster, you are much less likely to experience severe infection, hospitalization, and death, even if you contract the Omicron variant. We still urge the community to utilize all the preventative measures available to remain safe. Get vaccinated or if already vaccinated, get boosted as soon as you can. Visit www.YakimaVaccines.org for a location near you or call 2-1-1.”
Here are some tips for self-care during the pandemic: