Santa Clara County’s Public Health Department announced December 16 that ten omicron cases had been identified. Figures updated on their site Tuesday show no new cases have been recorded. The omicron variant has also been detected in all four wastewater treatment facilities in the County.
To date, none of the County’s 10 omicron cases have led to hospitalization. Harris County reported the first COVID-19 omicron-related death yesterday.
The CDC states the omicron variant will likely spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is believed individuals infected with omicron can spread the virus even if they are vaccinated or asymptomatic.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports Stanford’s Virology lab found around 71% of this week’s COVID samples were the omicron variant. Last week, this figure was significantly lower sitting at 56%. The CDC currently reports that 73% of U.S. COVID cases are now omicron, reaffirming Stanford’s research.
According to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, the 7-day rolling daily average of new COVID-19 cases is 187, a continued decline since the post-Thanksgiving holiday bump that saw cases as high as 290.
The Department is anticipating a large influx of COVID-19 cases as the holiday season ensues and cases continue to rise in other regions of the world. Officials urge all eligible residents to obtain booster shots as soon as possible. Currently, 80% of Santa Clara County residents have completed vaccination, and 40% of eligible residents have received a booster.
“The Omicron variant is causing a rapid, massive spike in cases in other parts of the world, and booster vaccines are our best defense against that happening here too,” said Dr. Sara Cody, Health Officer and Director of Public Health in a press release issued by Santa Clara’s Public Health Department. “The quicker our community is vaccinated with the booster, the more likely we can avoid the worse-case scenarios related to the spread of Omicron.”
Governor Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday via Facebook that the state will now require all healthcare officials to receive booster shots in addition to vaccinations. You can find locations offering boosters at https://covid19.sccgov.org/covid-19-vaccine-information.