How contagious/transmissible is the Omicron Variant?
Omicron is significantly more contagious than Delta, with an estimated doubling time of 2 days, whereas Delta had a doubling time of 4.5 days, and the incubation time for Omicron is estimated to be 3 days, shorter than the incubation time for the prior variants.
Can I get the Omicron Variant if I am vaccinated and boosted?
Yes, given the high transmission rate of the Omicron variant, it is possible that individuals who have been vaccinated and boosted can get infected, but the good news is that the infection is likely to be less serious and not result in severe illness, hospitalization or death.
Can I get the Omicron Variant if I had a prior natural infection?
Yes, data from South Africa demonstrated that natural immunity as a result of a prior COVID infection waned over a matter of months and individuals were getting re-infected with the Omicron variant.
If I can still get infected despite getting vaccinated and boosted, should I still get vaccinated?
Yes. Vaccination followed by a booster dose 6 months later has been shown to increase protective antibody levels against Delta and Omicron variants and will protect you from getting severe disease, which can result in hospitalization or death.
What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?
Isolation and quarantine guidance remains the same for Omicron, at least for now. If you test positive, you should immediately isolate away from others and isolate for a duration of 10 days from symptom onset (or 10 days from a positive test, if asymptomatic), to avoid infecting more people. If your symptoms persist past 10 days (e.g., continued fever, cough, etc.), you should remain in isolation and contact your provider for further guidance.
What should I do if I am a close contact of someone who tests positive?
If you have been in close contact with an infected person, if you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to quarantine unless you develop symptoms. However, even if asymptomatic you should get tested within 3-5 days after exposure and then again in 5-7 days, to ensure that you remain negative. Always wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure. See current isolation and quarantine guidance from the CDPH.
What treatments are available for COVID-19? (from the FDA website)
The FDA has approved the antiviral drug Veklury (remdesivir) for adults and certain pediatric patients with COVID-19 who are sick enough to need hospitalization. Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a health care setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care.
During public health emergencies, the FDA may authorize the use of unapproved drugs or unapproved uses of approved drugs under certain conditions. This is called an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). Therapeutic products authorized under an EUA are listed on the FDA’s EUA page. These products are not a substitute for vaccination against COVID-19.
For example, the FDA has issued EUAs for several monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 for the treatment, and in some cases prevention of COVID-19 in adults and pediatric patients. Monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made molecules that act as substitute antibodies. They can help your immune system recognize and respond more effectively to the virus, making it more difficult for the virus to reproduce and cause harm. https://www.covid19treatmentguidelines.nih.gov/therapies/anti-sars-cov-2-antibody-products/anti-sars-cov-2-monoclonal-antibodies/
How can I access these treatments? (from the FDA website)
Depending on your medical history, risks, and symptoms, your health care provider can help you determine whether a therapy that is FDA-approved, or available under an EUA, is right for you.
The following websites contain information regarding access to monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19:
- HHS Protect Public Data Hub – Therapeutics Distribution
- National Infusion Center Association (NICA)External Link Disclaimer
You can also contact the California Department of Public Health.
Mobile COVID Booster Clinics in SB County
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is providing COVID-19 booster shots at healthcare facilities. These clinics will be administering Pfizer, Moderna and J&J booster doses. They cannot vaccinate any children under 12 years old.
To request a COVID-19 Booster Clinic, fill out the electronic form below (they can provide Pfizer, Moderna and J&J boosters).
People who cannot get out of the home can have the boosters brought to them.
Eligibility for Boosters
Persons eligible for COVID boosters as of 12/7/2021 are listed below.
- A Pfizer or Moderna booster dose is recommended if you:
- Received your second dose at least six months ago, and
- Are 18 or older,
A Johnson & Johnson booster dose is recommended if you:
- Received your first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least 2 months ago, and
- Are 18 or older
Re-Opening TCRC Offices
All TCRC offices have re-opened to the public. The number of staff physically present in offices is lower than pre-pandemic numbers, as many employees have opted for hybrid work models. However, all staff continue to be available to provide support to the families and people we serve. Throughout our re-opening process, the health and safety of our visitors and employees remains a top priority. Facilities have been adapted to allow for social distanced work stations and air quality monitoring has been added to conference rooms. These are just a few upgrades completed to allow for safe in-person interactions. While drop-in visitors are welcome, we do encourage you to make appointments in advance.