COVID omicron variant detected in Butte County

OROVILLE — The first COVID-19 omicron variant case in Butte County has been identified, according to Butte County Public Health.

The person who got sick with the COVID-19 omicron variant is a fully vaccinated adult residing in Chico. The person had not received the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a Butte County Public Health press release. To be fully vaccinated, a person must have received either one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.

“The specimen was collected Dec. 16, 2021, confirming that the omicron variant has been in Butte County for at least two weeks,” the press release said.

The Butte County Public Health COVID-19 Division Director Erin Cox said that the Butte County Public Health is following the California Department of Public Health’s recommendations to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Butte County Public Health is encouraging vaccinations as well as wearing masks, according to Cox.

As New Year’s Eve comes, Cox said anytime that there are gatherings, it’s anticipated that COVID-19 cases will rise. She said that Butte County Public Health recommends keeping gatherings small and outdoors.

“We always encourage testing as well,” Cox said. “And social distancing, of course.”

The Butte County Public Health press release says that scientists and health experts are still learning about the omicron variant.

“While initial reports suggest omicron may be less severe than earlier variants,” the press release said. “It is still too early to know for certain.”

However, the press release says that omicron spreads more rapidly than previous variants. It also says that close contacts to people with the omicron variant seem to be two to three times more likely to be infected, compared to the delta variant. According to the press release, the time it takes for cases in a given area to double is two to three days.

“Omicron can infect persons who were previously infected with COVID-19 and persons who are fully vaccinated,” the press release said. “However, fully vaccinated people still have significant protection against severe disease. A booster dose provides substantial additional protection against omicron.”

The press release says that getting vaccinated, wearing an effective mask, getting tested, isolating when sick and staying quarantined after exposure are all things that can help protect others as well as yourself.

To schedule an appointment for a vaccine, go to https://myturn.ca.gov. For guidance on an effective mask, go to https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx.

© 2022 KFMF-FM. Internet Development by Frankly Media.