For staff, children and families:

Amidst continued uncertainty, here are a few almost certain things that we can say about Omicron (and other circulating germs) today:

1. Get COVID booster when you become eligible. (6 months after 2nd dose of Pfizer or Moderna, 2 months after single dose of J&J).  Data shows that vaccinated, boosted adults have, as a group, excellent protection against severe disease from Omicron.

2. Encourage unvaccinated family and friends to get vaccinated.  Overall, Omicron may be causing milder disease, but hospitals still are filling up with COVID patients. Almost all of them are unvaccinated.

3. Wear a mask when in public, indoor spaces and when in outdoor crowded spaces. Double masking (cloth mask on top of paper) is safer than paper alone. Cloth alone is not recommended.  Email Medical Supplies group if you need PPE replenishment.

4. For now, report COVID exposures and/or respiratory infection symptoms to your supervisor AND to COVID Team.  Reporting to both allows COVID Team and supervisors to respond in a timely manner.

5. COVID Team is working on an updated Infection Control Resources folder in Staff Connect and on a streamlined reporting/management system. Aspects of this update may take a few weeks.  In the meantime, send COVID questions to COVID team (so that we can consult the latest CDC updates).

6. COVID testing appointments and home test kits are in short supply. The federal government will soon be offering free home test kits through the mail. Once the website is operational, households will be able to request a test kit(s).    In the meantime, for specific situations, COVID Team will advise staff on testing issues.

7. Don’t forget about flu.  It is on the rise, and ‘breakthrough’ infections are being reported in vaccinated people.  Staff and clients should not be around others when symptomatic with flu or COVID or any other ‘influenza-like illness’ (fever/chills, cough, sore throat, congestion, body aches, vomiting, diarrhea). Email COVID Team if you are uncertain about your (or client’s) infectious disease symptoms.