January 4, 2022
SLCoHD Issues COVID Public Health Advisory
Nicholas Rupp -
Today, Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) issued a formal public health advisory regarding the record-breaking transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant. The advisory, which is in effect through January 31, 2022, strongly encourages people who live and work in Salt Lake County to engage in several precautions known to be effective in preventing the spread of COVID:
- Wear a face mask, regardless of vaccination status, whenever indoors in public. Masks should always cover the nose and mouth, and the advisory notes that higher-quality masks, such as KN95s or KF94s, may offer additional protection.
- Stay home if they are exhibiting any symptoms of illness—regardless of vaccination status or past infection—and get tested for COVID.
- Follow CDC guidance for isolation if they test positive for COVID.
- Get vaccinated and (if eligible) boosted.
- Avoid all large gatherings if they are not vaccinated and (if applicable) boosted.
“We are in the beginning stages of a new surge of infections and our unvaccinated friends and family are at risk of serious illness,” said Dr. Dunn. “Nearly two-thirds of our residents are not boosted and almost a quarter are completely unvaccinated against COVID. Those who are unvaccinated or immunocompromised are at highest risk for severe COVID illness. It will require our entire community following these proven recommendations to minimize hospitalizations and deaths due to Omicron.”
The COVID vaccines are extremely effective at preventing serious illness and death. Because vaccine efficacy can wane over time, a booster dose is important to maintain protection.
Due to the CDC’s new, shorter 5-day quarantine and isolation recommendation, masking is also now more important than ever.
“The new CDC guidance relies on consistent masking to protect those around you if you’ve been infected with, or exposed to, COVID, even if you’ve been vaccinated,” continued Dr. Dunn. “People who test positive can be infectious longer than 5 days, so you must wear a mask for at least an additional 5 days in order to prevent infecting others.”
Dr. Dunn will be available for media interviews today, January 4, at 1:00pm at Salt Lake County Government Center, Suite S2-600, at 2001 South State Street in Salt Lake City. Masks are required.