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Omicron Variant Sets Record Number of Infections, Unvaccinated People Most at Risk of Serious Illness

The California Department of Public Health reported more than 50,000 new daily infections over the past seven days setting an all-time record for the number of people being infected since the pandemic began.  However, there are significant differences between those who remain unvaccinated and those who are fully vaccinated.

Based on real world data in California; cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are largely occurring among unvaccinated populations.

  • Unvaccinated people were 5.2 times more likely to get COVID-19 (data from December 13, 2021 to December 19, 2021).
  • Unvaccinated people were 14.5 times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 (data from December 6, 2021 to December 12, 2021).
  • Unvaccinated people were 15.0 times more likely to die from COVID-19 (data from November 29, 2021 to December 5, 2021).

(see this data at https://covid19.ca.gov/state-dashboard)


The State offers these helpful tips to Slow the Spread:


  1. Get Vaccinated and Boosted for COVID-19

The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated. Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. With the combination of colder weather keeping people indoors, the waning of vaccine and natural immunity, and more mingling among non-household members, public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to help prevent a possible winter surge in COVID-19 cases.


Vaccination appointments can be made by visiting the MyTurn website (www.myturn.ca.gov) or calling 1-833-422-4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under age 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines available for all Californians 5+.


  1. Wear your mask: CDPH requires masks to be worn in all indoor public settings irrespective of vaccine status through January 15, 2022, at which point California will make further recommendations as needed in response to the pandemic.


  1. Upgrade your mask: Good fit and filtration continue to be the best way to get the most out of your mask. The best masks for preventing COVID-19 include the N95, KN95 and KF94. If you don’t have access to one of these masks, wear a surgical mask or a surgical mask with a cloth mask on top. If you choose a fabric mask, opt for one with three of more cloth layers. No matter what kind of mask you wear, check the fit by avoiding gaps above the nose or on the sides.


  1. Stay Home & Get Tested if Sick: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), or believe you have been exposed, get tested, call your health care provider, and stay home and away from others. Free, confidential testing is available statewide.


  1. Isolation and Quarantine: CDPH updated guidance to align with the recommended isolation and quarantine timeframes from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In this time of uncertainty due to Omicron, CDPH added additional testing recommendations to exit isolation and quarantine and improved masking measures to protect the health and well-being of all Californians.


  1. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.


  1. Travel tips: Delay travel (both domestic and international) until you are fully vaccinated. See the CDC’s full travel guidance. If you decide to travel, a recent travel advisory recommends that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.


  1. Avoid crowded venues or areas when cases are high. CDPH has updated requirements for attending mega events, like concerts and sporting events. Venues covered by the requirement must be in full compliance no later than January 15, 2022. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now be required to provide either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event.


  1. Add your phone to the fight: Sign up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify (https://canotify.ca.gov).


  1. Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.
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