The Omicron variant hit our communities in full force over the last few weeks, but reports indicate this variant for many is less severe than previous ones, and particularly for those who are fully vaccinated. Here is the most current information you need to keep yourself and your loved ones safe:
Get Fully Vaccinated. The most important way to protect yourself is to be fully vaccinated, including the booster (third) shot. All individuals aged 5 and older are eligible for two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, and all age 16 and older are eligible for the booster, which is recommended five months after the second dose. Go to NCH MyChart – COVID-19 Triage to register for your first, second or booster shot – we can provide whichever dose you need of either Pfizer or Moderna.
Wear Your Mask. With the colder temperatures forcing us inside and while the omicron variant is spreading, please wear your mask in all indoor places or when in groups outside of your immediate household.
Test When Needed. Get a COVID-19 test if you know you’ve been exposed or if you’re planning to fly or travel. The CDC recommends waiting 5-7 days after exposure to get tested, as an earlier test may show a false negative. There are many testing sites, some through county government and some through NCH. You can be tested at any NCH Immediate Care Center or call our office for help.
Quarantine if Necessary. If you test positive for COVID-19, the CDC now recommends a 5-day quarantine period, followed by 5 days in which a mask is always worn while inside. Go to this CDC page for more detail on quarantine.
Maintain your Physical and Mental Health Routines. We encourage you to keep up your personal physical and mental health routines during these challenging times. Try to get physical activity each day – whether that’s a short brisk walk outside around the block, a workout on any indoor equipment you may have, or just stretching your muscles in the morning and evening. Take time to relax and turn off the news and social media – call a friend, watch a movie, or have a cup of tea.
Please know that we are here for you as we start 2022 – and we want to help make this a healthy year for you. We are all in this together and will get through it together. Stay safe.