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Louisville area health leaders bracing for omicron variant

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:04 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - It’s not a question of whether or not the omicron COVID variant will arrive in Kentucky and Indiana, it’s a question of when. The new variant has been discovered in several states, but despite the increased attention given to omicron, the delta variant remains the most prevalent in the United States and the region.

According to Dr. Sarahbeth Hartlage with the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, COVID cases are on the rise, as are hospitalizations. The metro area is also in the midst of flu season.

In terms of determining whether or not omicron is present, the Louisville health department is said to be collaborating with UofL Health to monitor wastewater for specific COVID variants and COVID levels, with about 5-10% of COVID tests being tested for variants.

Those who haven’t been vaccinated are encouraged to get the COVID vaccine and, if eligible, the booster. Hartlage said more than 70% of people in the Louisville area have received one dose of the vaccine, with 65% having completed the series.

For those who stopped wearing masks after getting vaccinated, Hartlage said now is the time to put them back on indoors and in crowded settings.

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