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Marian Regional Medical Center seeing cases of Omicron variant in Santa Maria


SANTA MARIA, Calif. - As COVID-19 continues to surge across the country, Omicron is making its way to Santa Barbara County.

So far Santa Barbara County Public Health has reported at least 5 cases of the Omicron variant.

"Yeah I was a little worried about it but I had my two shots in a booster so I’m feeling pretty good about it," said resident Larry Stewart of Santa Maria.

Doctors at Marian Regional Medical Center believe the Omicron variant is already actively spreading in north county.

"There is always a delay with how fast they can type the cases in our community ... but based on what we’re seeing in the spike of COVID we can be pretty confident that Omicron is already here. We are definitely seeing cases in our community," said Dr. Alicia Gonzalez of Marian Regional Medical Center.

Gonzalez says her main concern about the new variant is its contagious rate.

"It’s thankfully not proving to be as dangerous as previous variance of COVID-19 … but it’s three times more contagious and that’s very concerning for us," said Gonzalez.

Even though Omicron may be less severe, health experts are encouraging people not to dismiss the variant as mild.

"Omicron is certainly highly contagious and we’re still seeing patients that are being hospitalized … these are still largely unvaccinated patients," said Dr. Scott Robertson of Marian Regional Medical Center.

As COVID-19 continues to surge across the county, doctors along with residents hope people will continue safety precautions.

"I wish everybody would get the vaccine I think that would help with the spread I hope everybody gets the vaccine," said resident Sue Tognazzini of Santa Maria.

If you need to get the vaccine or booster shot there’s an all day clinic coming up at JDX Pharmacy in Santa Maria this Thursday.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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