Post-holidays omicron surge starts in Idaho

When returning to work and school, take necessary precautions
Posted at 3:02 PM, Jan 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-05 09:30:32-05

MAGIC VALLEY, Idaho — Following the holidays, the omicron variant surge has started in Idaho, according to Dr. Joshua Kern, Chief Medical Officer for St. Luke's Magic Valley, Jerome and Wood River.

It is important to note how quickly this virus spreads and act accordingly.

Omicron accounted for 95% of new coronavirus infections in the U.S. last week, the Center for Disease Control reported Tuesday.

“Our internal St. Luke’s testing shows that we are already in the start of a surge after the Christmas holiday,” said Kern.

Related: This is why omicron is so highly transmissible

The best way to protect ourselves and those around us is to get vaccinated, including the booster if appropriate, according to Dr. Kern.

“We don’t have all the information yet, we don’t know what it looks like in the United States really yet, but the concern is that even as it may cause less numbers of hospitalizations, if it spreads three to five times faster, you still may end up with excessive numbers of hospitalizations,” said Kern.

It is also important to wear a mask.

“The thing with this virus that is really quite different than what we’ve been able to show with past viruses is how aggressively it spreads before you actually have symptoms,” said Dr. Kern

Taking the proper precautions will aid the effort to help keep hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

For information on COVID-19 testing, visit St. Luke's website.