The latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron – the most contagious variant yet – has sent cases soaring to their highest level yet. Florida is shattering single-day records. The steady rise of the Omicron variant and COVID-19 transmission from holiday gatherings, along with a spike in the flu, are expected to put additional pressure on healthcare systems. Hospitals are putting elective procedures on hold once again.
This is keeping the Clinic very busy as well. COVID-19 testing has increased substantially and the number of positives is high. This is affecting schools and businesses everywhere, and we certainly see it here on the Island as well.
What we can do together to avoid or reduce the Omicron wave
- If you have not been vaccinated, get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can. Following guidance of the CDC, get the booster shot as well. While being vaccinated may not protect you from getting infected, it appears that the effects of Omicron are milder on those who have been vaccinated and boosted.
- Keep your distance and wear a mask correctly. This will help protect yourself and others. With good quality masks now more widely available, it’s a good time to upgrade to KN95 or surgical mask.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
- If you are sick or have symptoms, please do not host or attend a gathering. If you’ve been exposed or have tested positive, isolate and quarantine.
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
- Test to prevent spread to others. On-island COVID-19 PCR and rapid testing is available to Clinic patients by appointment. Nearby drugstore pharmacies in Englewood also provide testing. And, over-the-counter test kits are another option to help prevent the spread. If you test positive, please remember to isolate and inform your healthcare provider, as well as any close contacts.
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