SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) issued an official public health notice about the COVID-19 Omicron variant's record-breaking transmission on Tuesday morning. The advice, which is in place until January 31, 2022, strongly advises residents and workers in Salt Lake County to take the following steps, which have been shown to be helpful in avoiding 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.”
COVID vaccinations have been shown in studies to be particularly effective in preventing major disease and death. However, because vaccine efficacy can decline over time, a booster dosage is recommended to ensure continued protection, according to the health department.
Masking is now more critical than ever, according to the health department, due to the CDC's new, shorter 5-day quarantine and isolation requirement.
This comes the day after four Utah counties set new one-day COVID-19 case records.
The Utah Department of Health has also recently issued new COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines that mimic those recently announced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.