We’ve had more new Covid cases this past week in Cuyahoga County than at any time during the pandemic. Previously, the most new cases that we’ve seen in a week was last December when we had around 7,500 new cases. This past week, we had 10,629 new cases. This is an 81.8% increase from the week before.
Omicron is now the dominant variant in Cuyahoga county, the Cleveland Clinic says that half of their Covid tests are from Omicron. It seems that Omicron is 2-3x as infectious as the Delta variant. While a recent South African study states that hospitalizations are 30% less than in the initial pandemic wave, it is not necessarily because Omicron is less severe. The milder symptoms are more likely due to vaccinations and previous infections. In some parts of South Africa, 80% of the population have already had Covid.
While vaccines seem to not prevent infections, they continue to reduce the chance of severe infections and hospitalizations. Boosters on top of vaccines seem to significantly decrease the chance of infection. If you want to get vaccinated or a booster, contrary to what you may have heard, as of Friday night, appointments are available tomorrow. Go to the Ohio Covid Vaccination site for appointments.
That said, Jordan and I (at the moment) are still planning to travel this Christmas. We will be visiting with family that have all been vaccinated and boosted. We will be doing home tests before we leave, and again before each gathering. We will also test ourselves before returning to work.
Home tests are tricky to find. The cheapest that I’ve found is at Walmart. They are regularly out of stock and you need to check back a couple of times during the day. I either choose shipping or in-store pickup. For a little more money, Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, and Amazon all have kits available.
Stay safe, be smart, and as one of my patients said to me this week, “Don’t get Covid, but if you do, may it be mild.”