Salt Lake County Health Dept. issues Omicron-related COVID-19 advisory

A woman adjusts a face mask on a young child. File photo: John Angelillo/UPI

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, Jan. 4, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake County Department of Health has issued an advisory after the record-breaking transmission rate set by the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

The advisory, which remains in effect until at least through the end of the month, “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,” says the statement issued.

Recommended behaviors include:

  • 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 a statement released by Dr. Angela Dunn, the agency’s executive director.

“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, Dunn’s statement says, adding that a booster dose is important to maintain protection.

Due to the CDC’s new, shorter five-day quarantine and isolation recommendation, masking is also now more important than ever, the statement says.

“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,” Dunn said. “People who test positive can be infectious longer than five days, so you must wear a mask for at least an additional five days in order to prevent infecting others.”


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