LMAS issues public health warning amid Omicron surge

(LMAS District Health Department logo)
(LMAS District Health Department logo)(WLUC)
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 4:05 PM EST
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ALGER COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - LMAS District Health Department is issuing this Public Health Warning as COVID-19 cases since Jan. 3, 2022 are rising at a rate of 103 every two days.

“Omicron, like the variants before it, will create minimal symptoms in some people and others will be very ill, hospitalized, and more will die. What Omicron does better than other variants is its ability to infect people, which is why we need everyone to heed this warning,” LMAS said in a press release Thursday.

LMAS District Health Department advises the following:

1. If you haven’t been vaccinated or gotten your booster, please do so.

2. Wear a multi-layer mask, two masks (such as a surgical mask with a cloth mask over it), or KN95 in indoor public or other crowded spaces. Regardless of which mask(s) you wear, you need to make sure they fit snuggly without any gaps on the sides, chin, or nose. No mask will protect you or others if you don’t wear it properly and consistently.

3. Get tested for COVID if you don’t feel well or believe you have been exposed to someone with COVID.

4. Stay home when sick except to seek medical care.

5. Follow current CDC isolation and quarantine guidance.

LMAS said in a press release, “We need a majority of residents to get vaccinated, stay up to date with boosters and wear masks properly whenever people are out in public or at crowded venues. The numbers below tell the urgency of the present and worsening situation in our counties.”

From March 1, 2020 to Jan.12, 2022 the LMAS counties have had 5661 COVID-19 cases and 49 deaths. The 1,343 COVID-19 infections from December 1, 2021 to January 12, 2022 represent about 25% of the total cases so far in the pandemic, and the 14 deaths represent nearly 30% of all COVID-19 deaths in our counties.

With cases rising rapidly, LMAS is unable to keep up with the case investigations and contact tracing. Their priorities are schools, long-term care facilities, and other congregate settings. If you test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, visit CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/quarantine-isolation.html to learn how to protect yourself and others.

LMAS urges the community to not take Omicron lightly. Everyone age 5 and up is eligible to be vaccinated. Overall, the LMAS counties are only 59.1% fully vaccinated.

Although early reports suggest that Omicron may not be as deadly as the Delta variant, the sheer number of cases will still bring a surge of people needing hospitalization and more deaths.

As Omicron has been spreading rapidly across the country, monoclonal treatments are in short supply. LMAS urges community members to take preventive measures.

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