While COVID-19 continues to remain a threat, local health officials say the Omicron variant has yet to reach the Central Coast.
Following Thanksgiving travel and with the upcoming Christmas season travel, San Luis Obispo County Public Health is anticipating an even larger increase in COVID-19 cases.
“With holiday travel, with coming together, we are likely to see another winter surge. We’re already seeing that impact,” said SLO County Public Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein.
Dr. Borenstein says the Omicron variant has yet to arrive in the SLO County area, and that nearly all cases in the county currently are of the Delta variant.
“It’s why the state issued an indoor mask mandate statewide,” Borenstein said.
With the California mask mandate announced Monday, masks must always be worn indoors in public areas.
There is still an expectation that Omicron could be in the county any day.
The public is encouraged to prepare by getting the vaccine, including the booster shot.
“You are 15 to 20 times more likely to die from the disease if you get it in an unvaccinated state than if you are vaccinated,” Borenstein said.
It is encouraged people ages 50 years and older get the booster shot ahead of the holiday season.
Anyone ages 16 years and older can also get the booster shot.
According to Santa Barbara County Public Health, no cases of COVID-19 have been attributed to the Omicron variant so far.
Santa Barbara County also experienced an uptick in COVID-19 cases following the Thanksgiving holiday.