The omicron wave has arrived. Here’s what to do if you test positive

PORTLAND, Oregon (KGW) – Daily cases of COVID-19 in Oregon rise as the the omicron variant is installed in the state, and public health officials believe the worst of the wave is still in progress.

New cases in Oregon were up 25% for the week ending Dec. 27, according to the Oregon Health Authority, and 2,948 new cases were reported on Thursday, one of the highest daily totals than the State has never seen them.

The highest day on record was August 27, when Oregon reported 3,207 cases at the height of the Delta Variant wave.

Washington is also seeing an increase in case rates, and the state set a new all-time high for single-day COVID cases at 6,140 on December 24.

A Oregon University of Health and Science Forecast predicted that the omicron wave would not peak until February, and Multnomah County Health Director Dr Jennifer Vines said this week the region is still in a lull between peaks in the delta and omicron.

“I think we’re going to have to become very, very flexible in the coming weeks when it comes to how we think about COVID risk,” she said, “especially in light of all the services we depend on. to live the day. day in and day out, we will expect to continue to function as this virus takes hold. “

The good news is that hospitalization and death rates have so far not matched the spike in case rates. COVID-related hospitalizations in Oregon are down 35% and deaths are down 25% over the past week.

But for this trend to continue, Vines said, people must continue to get vaccinated, step up their masking habits and reduce social visits. A full cycle of vaccinations, including a booster, is the best defense against illness or death, she said.

“All of these little things that we all choose to do are helping to determine whether our health systems and our essential functions pass through this wave intact,” she said.

What to do if you test positive

The top five symptoms of COVID-19 are a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, and a sore throat. Many of these symptoms overlap with common illnesses such as the flu and colds, so it is important to look for tests.

People who test positive should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and self-isolate at home, regardless of their immunization status.

The infected person and anyone else in the home should wear masks indoors at all times, as directed by the Washington State Department of Health, and adjust their masks or wear two masks to close the gaps the edges.

People who test positive should also contact recent close contacts and let them know that they have been exposed, and those people should also self-quarantine.

People isolated at home should stay hydrated, use over-the-counter medications as needed for symptoms, and ensure their indoor spaces are well ventilated, according to Washington DOH guidelines.

The heating system fans should be set to “on” or “high” rather than “auto” and the HVAC system filters should be kept cool. Windows should also be briefly opened to let in fresh air, when possible.

People should see a doctor if they develop severe symptoms such as difficulty breathing, persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, or an inability to wake up or stay awake. Pale, gray, or blue skin, lips, or nail beds, and abnormally low pulse oximeter readings are also signs of serious illness.

The CDC recently revised its guidelines from 10 days of isolation to five. Anyone with symptoms should stay home until they feel better, but people who are asymptomatic or whose symptoms have improved may return to work and other regular activities after five days, although the guidelines of the CDC say they must wear a mask at all times for an additional five days. .

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