With the holidays being over, the next couple of weeks will be crucial to our health as the number of COVID and Omicron cases continue to rise.
President Joe Biden said earlier today that these coming weeks are going to be challenging, but urges people to please wear their mask in public to protect themselves and others.
“We have the tools to protect people from severe illness due to Omicron – if people choose to use the tools,’’ Biden said. “There’s a lot of reason to be hopeful in (2022), but for God’s sake, please take advantage of what’s available.’’
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on December 30, the California Department of Public Health updated guidance to align with the recommended isolation and quarantine timeframes. The CDPH also added additional testing recommendations to exit isolation and quarantine and improved masking measures in the midst of ongoing uncertainty due to the spread of the Omicron variant.
Additional measures by CDPH are:
- All individuals with COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status, should stay home for at least five days. Isolation can end after day five if symptoms are not present or resolving and diagnostic specimen collected on day five or later is negative. An antigen test is the preferred method for diagnostic specimen.
- Unvaccinated individuals and vaccinated people who are eligible for a booster but have not yet received a booster who are exposed to COVID-19 should stay home for at least five days and also get a COVID-19 test on day five. If choosing not to test, individuals should stay home for at least 10 days.
- Vaccinated individuals who have received their booster or are not yet eligible for a booster who are exposed to COVID-19 do not have to stay home but should test on day five.
According to the Kern Public Health Services Department, as of today, there are a total of 324 new resident cases with a total of 166,183 and no new deaths. The 7-day case rate is 15.2 per 100,000.
As of January 2, 1,040,104 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered to Kern County residents. 446,071 or 52.2 percent of Kern’s eligible population have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Also, as of yesterday, Kern County has 108 COVID-19 related hospitalizations and 32 are in the ICU.
The Omicron variant has been detected in California so it is important to get vaccinated and take all precautionary measures.
The CDC highly recommends:
• Getting vaccinated against COVID-19
• Getting your COVID-19 booster as soon as eligible
• Wearing a mask while in indoor public settings
• Staying home when sick
• Washing your hands often
• Get tested before gathering or traveling
• Gather outside or increase ventilation when indoors
• Eating a well-balanced diet
• Regularly exercising
Yesterday, the FDA amended the emergency use authorization for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include the authorization of the booster dose in individuals 12 – 15 years of age, to shorten the time frame between completion of the primary vaccination and the booster dose from 6 months to 5 months, and to allow for a third dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 – 11 years old. This morning CDC recommended the Pfizer booster at five months post vaccination and the third dose for certain immunocompromised children 5 to 11 years old. The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices is scheduled to discuss the booster dose recommendation for 12–15 year-olds on January 5.
To schedule an appointment to get vaccinated visit MYTURN.CA.GOV.