East County News Service
Photo: CC by SA via Bing
May 5, 2022 (San Diego) – With a new Omicron subvariant circulating and cases climbing across the nation as prom and graduation season approaches, the County Health and Human Services Department is urging parents to make sure children are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, and to take other preventive measures.
“When large groups of people gather indoors, the risk of getting and spreading COVID-19 increases,” says Deputy Public Health Officer Cameron Kaiser, M.D., M.P.H. “Having all the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, wearing a mask indoors, washing your hands and taking other precautions is the best way to protect yourself and others.”
Kaiser adds that attending large gatherings or events increases your chance of being in close contact with people outside your household and being exposed to COVID-19, especially now that the region is experiencing an increase in cases.
People who feel sick should stay home and isolate themselves from others. However, if you come into close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should:
- Wear a mask around others for 10 days, even at home
- Get tested 3-5 days after the exposure
- Monitor for symptoms and stay home if you’re ill
- Isolate and notify your close contacts if you test positive for COVID-19
COVID-19 Treatment Now Available in San Diego
If you do get COVID-19, County health officials say treatment is available. Treatment can help prevent high-risk individuals from getting sick enough to need hospital services and even from dying from COVID.
Oral medications, in the form of pills, and monoclonal antibodies, in the form of an intravenous infusion, are available at multiple locations and community pharmacies across San Diego. Antiviral medications require a doctor’s prescription and should be started within five days of developing symptoms of COVID-19. Monoclonal antibodies should be given no more than seven days after the onset of symptoms.
To determine which treatment is best for you, talk to your doctor or health care provider, or call 2-1-1 to find a provider. Monoclonal Antibody Regional Centers (MARCs) offer treatment with the monoclonal antibody Bebtelovimab, which is effective against the Omicron variant. You can call (619) 685-2500, seven days a week, to schedule a no-cost appointment, regardless of health insurance or immigration status. A referral or prescription is not required.
Photo, left: a treatment room at the Monoclonal Antibody Regional Center in San Ysidro.
Federal Test to Treat locations can provide testing and treatment in one location. For more information, call (800) 232-0233 or visit the Test to Treat website for locations and what treatments they carry.
“Vaccinations are still the best protection we have to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19,” Kaiser states. “However, treatments reduce the risk of hospitalization and death for people who get COVID-19, whether they have been vaccinated or not. Treatment is available throughout San Diego.”
Since the MARCs opened in February of last year, a total of 9,323 patients have been treated, thanks to the collaboration with hospitals, federally qualified health centers and local municipalities.
Over 93.7% of San Diegans age 5 and up are at least partially vaccinated and 83.1% are fully vaccinated, though only 58.2% of eligible residents have had booster shots.
More vaccination information can be found at coronavirus-sd.com/vaccine.
Seven new deaths were reported since the last report on April 27. The region’s total is 5,244. Three of the people who died were 80 years or older, two were in their 70s and two were in their 60s. All had underlying medical conditions.
Cases, Case Rates, Hospitalizations and Testing:
4,110 cases were reported in the past week (April 28-May 4) compared to 2,977 infections identified the previous week. The rate continues to climb, with 1,926 COVID-19 cases reported to the County in the past three days (May 2-4). The region’s total is now 763,422 cases.
San Diego County’s case rate per 100,000 residents 12 years of age and older is 8.25 for people fully vaccinated and boosted, 5.30 for fully vaccinated people and 14.36 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.
6,594 tests were reported to the County on May 1, and the percentage of new positive cases was 5.2% (Data through May 1).
The 14-day rolling percentage of positive cases, among tests reported through May 1, is 3.9%.