Mono Covid cases already very high as new omicron variant triggers new worries

As the news of a new variant of the Covid-19 virus hit the airwaves Thanksgiving Day and then news that the first case in the U.S had been detected in California arrived just as the Times went to press Wednesday, Mono County was still dealing with a case positivity rate that would have put the county in the most restrictive tier of the old framework, the Purple Tier.

That is because the case positivity rate at the end of last week was actually higher than at this time last year, when the entire state shut down (Remember Dec. 1, 2020?), with about a 53 percent positivity rate for the week ending Nov. 20 and about the same for the week ending Nov. 27, according to Mono County Public Health Director Bryan Wheeler.

“To be blunt, we are doing badly right now,” he said. He wasn’t sure why the cases climbed again after a few weeks of dropping, but thinks it might be due to some local establishments being behind the ball on getting their employees to wear masks.

Another reason could be the waning immunity from the first round of Covid-19 vaccines; many of the 8,500 people in Mono County who have been fully vaccinated were vaccinated more than six months ago and that means, their vaccines are no longer as effective.

So, going into a situation where a new variant is now part of reality, what should Mono residents be doing to protect themselves? Is this ominously named omicron variant something to worry about?

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