Health officials call for these actions as new variant of COVID emerges

“We are monitoring our positivity rates; we are monitoring our hospitalizations, ”said Mannepalli. “We’re monitoring what’s going on very closely and not just here in Hall County, but in hospitals in the Metro Atlanta area. … I really hope we can really increase our vaccination rates and keep up with these other preventative masking, social distancing and hygiene measures so that we don’t see another increase like we’ve seen before. “

Georgia’s public health ministry wrote in a press release on Monday (November 29th) that it is closely monitoring the emergence of the omicron variant, first detected in southern Africa. The variant has not yet been detected in Georgia, the statement said. Scientists are studying the variant to determine how quickly and easily it spreads, whether it causes more serious illness and how well current COVID-19 vaccines will protect it, the statement said.

“What is known is that COVID vaccination helps stop the transmission of infection, which prevents the emergence of new variants,” said Dr Kathleen Toomey, Commissioner of DPH. “Vaccination is more important than ever with the emergence of this new variant and the holidays quickly approaching.”

Omicron was named as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Friday, November 26.

“We must remain cautiously optimistic,” Mannepalli said. “Hopefully it’s not there yet, but we’ll have to wait and see what we find from the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and (DPH) in the next few days.”

The omicron variant can be detected with PCR tests.

On Monday, the CDC updated its booster recommendations to state that all adults aged 18 and over should be boosted six months after completing their first round of mRNA vaccines and two months after receiving the Johnson vaccine. and Johnson. Previously, the CDC had said people 18 and older could receive a booster after consulting with their primary care physician, and only recommended the vaccine for certain populations at higher risk of serious illness and for people. 65 years and over.

People may also be given a booster different from their original series, which means that if someone first received Moderna, they could receive a booster of the Pfizer vaccine.

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