Thurston County is experiencing the highest daily COVID-19 case counts we have ever seen since the beginning of the pandemic. This rapid surge in cases is due presumably to the highly infectious omicron variant.
There is still much we do not know about the omicron variant, including how sick it can make people. Initial scientific studies show that the best protection from the omicron variant comes from having an mRNA (Pfizer or Moderna) booster dose. Everyone age 5 and older is eligible for a vaccine, and everyone 16 and older is eligible for a booster dose at this time.
With the omicron variant we are seeing higher rates of breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated individuals, but that does not mean that COVID-19 vaccines are not working. Vaccines still remain incredibly effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and deaths due to COVID-19, which is why we continue to urge members of our community to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose if they are eligible.
Now more than ever it is important for people to use COVID-19 protective measures in order to slow community spread and keep our already stressed health care system from being overwhelmed. Please wear a well-fitting multi-layered mask in public settings, and practice physical distancing when around others not in your household, regardless of your vaccination status.
If you can, avoid travel and minimize gatherings with people outside of your household. Stay home if you are ill, and get tested if you are symptomatic or exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19 regardless of your vaccination status.