Madera County confirms first case of Omicron
The Madera County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) confirmed the first known case of the B.1.1.529 (Omicron) variant in a Madera County resident.
The individual tested positive on Dec. 20, 2021. After further testing, the Omicron variant was confirmed on Dec. 30, 2021. The individual was unvaccinated and had been previously infected with COVID-19 in Nov. 2020.
This individual is not hospitalized and is out of isolation. MCDPH is investigating to identify close contacts of the patient.
Rapidly increasing case counts and surges are being seen throughout California. Madera County is beginning to see an increase that is expected to follow the patterns of other areas in the state. As of Jan. 2, 2021, the case rate in Madera County is 2.86 higher compared to December 20, 2021.
Over the holidays, cases have been increasing from about 20-25 before Christmas to up to 105 after Christmas. From Dec. 29-Jan. 3, there were 499 cases As of Jan. 3, there have been 25,058 COVID-19 cases in Madera County. There were eight additional COVID-19 deaths, which brings Madera County’s total to 332. However, of the eight, five were not vaccinated and seven had underlying conditions.
Evidence suggests that Omicron spreads more rapidly than other variants. Vaccinations and boosters are recommended to help prevent Omicron infections and hospitalizations.
“Vaccinations, including boosters are still our best tool for limiting the spread of COVID. Those who are unvaccinated continue to have the highest risk of severe illness and hospitalization. Reinfection is possible even after having a COVID-19 infection, as seen in this case. For those who are vaccinated, the benefit of full vaccination begins to diminish after six months, making booster doses essential for restoring immunity. It’s important for all Madera County residents to get vaccinated and receive a booster if eligible,” says Dr. Simon Paul, Madera County Public Health Officer.
In Madera County, 59.65 percent of the population has had at least one dose and 52.59 percent are fully vaccinated.
The best prevention method and protection against COVID-19 is vaccination. Visit www.maderacounty.com/covid19vaccine for mobile events and clinic locations.
Vaccinations, including boosters, are available at no cost to the public. Residents may visit MyTurn.ca.gov or call 311 to make an appointment. Walk-ins are also accepted.