SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - San Luis Obispo County Public Health Director, Dr. Penny Borenstein said, "we are not yet turning the corner" against the omicron variant of COVID-19. SLO County reported five deaths on Tuesday and nearly 4900 cases last week alone. That's more cases than the previous two months combined.
Borenstein said this wave of the virus has been extremely difficult on health care workers.
"They are just feeling absolutely besieged with this particular surge that we're seeing," Borenstein said. "Our hospitals are struggling even more than in previous surges because the staff are also getting sick now."
The Public Health Director said people in emergency departments are waiting for beds. "It's not a pretty situation right now," Borenstein said.
In a live appearance on NewsChannel 12 at 4, Borenstein encouraged more people to get vaccinated, calling it a safe product that's very effective at saving lives. She said, "Primarily this continues to be a disease of those who remain unvaccinated."
Only seven percent of the nearly 400 people who have died from COVID-19 in San Luis Obispo County were fully vaccinated, according to Borenstein.
"It is a a life saving medicine," Borenstein said of the vaccine. "I know there are people that are strongly opposed, but there are people that just haven't gotten around to it. There are people that are just still waiting to see what the impacts are.
"What I'd like to point out is that there are now nearly ten billion doses of this vaccine administered globally and over 500 million in the United States with very, very few really serious adverse affects," Borenstein said. "I know that we continue to harp on this and people are probably tired of hearing about it if they haven't yet gotten vaccinated, but really that is the thing that's going to save your life."
Information about vaccines is available on the county public health department's website.