Friday, December 31, 2021

California Issues New Health Guidance Amid Omicron Surge (VIDEO)

Tomorrow is a new year. Can you believe we're still going through this shit?

At LAT, "With Omicron surging, California calls for stricter COVID isolation for infected people":

With California’s coronavirus surge worsening, the state has issued new recommendations for when people infected with the virus can end their isolation, guidance that is stricter than what was made earlier this week by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

California is now recommending that asymptomatic, coronavirus-infected people can exit isolation after the fifth day following a positive test, but only if they get a negative test result.

By contrast, the CDC’s recommendations don’t ask for a follow-up negative test; the CDC only recommends that those ending isolation continue wearing a mask around other people for five additional days.

Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the UC San Francisco Department of Medicine, praised California’s stricter guidelines. “Kudos,” Wachter wrote. “Safer than [CDC’s] version.”

Los Angeles County on Thursday reported more than 20,000 new cases, fueled in part by the highly transmissible Omicron variant.

Overall, California’s reported average daily coronavirus caseload has more than quadrupled in the last two weeks — an astonishing rise that has pushed infection levels significantly higher than during the summer surge linked to the Delta variant.

“The risk for virus transmission has never been higher in our county,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said Thursday.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health endorsed California’s new isolation recommendations and will codify them in its latest local mandatory health order.

The new California recommendations still largely mirror the CDC’s guidelines. Both shorten the minimum time recommended for isolation from 10 days to five for asymptomatic people.

Both the CDC and California also suggest the quarantine of people who are not up-to-date on their booster shots if they have been exposed to someone who tests positive for the coronavirus.

Officials recommend calling 911 if you have difficulty breathing, chest pain or pressure on the chest; bluish lips or face; are confused or hard to wake; or have other emergency symptoms.

The Omicron variant is believed to be two to four times as contagious as the previously dominant Delta. People who are eligible for booster shots but haven’t yet received them are at increased risk for infection.

“Data from South Africa and the United Kingdom demonstrate that vaccine effectiveness against infection for two doses of an mRNA vaccine is approximately 35%. A COVID-19 vaccine booster dose restores vaccine effectiveness against infection to 75%,” the CDC said in a statement.

Here’s a summary of California’s new guidelines to exit isolation...

Still more.

Additional video at KPIX News 5 San Francisco, "Crowds Swamp Bay Area COVID Test Sites," and "Mask Mandates Begin Anew Across Bay Area."

New "mask mandates." Right. *Eye-roll.*)