COVID UPDATES: Omicron

COVID UPDATES: Omicron

Kayla Kelly, Journalist

As WHS welcomes winter sports seasons and 2022, another variant, Omicron, is increasing in Connecticut. There has been a surge of Covid cases over the past two weeks, with over 680 new cases reported on January 10th in New London County. Infection rates are nearly double the county’s weekly average as the numbers continue to rise. The most recent spike occurring showing 1,200 cases were reported on one day the first week of January.¬†

 

Omicron differs from the original Covid variant, as it has a high chance of reinfecting previously healed patients unlike earlier variants of Covid-19. The variant is highly transmittable among unmasked people, vaccinated or not, causing a recent spike in cases. When asked about the differences between Omicron and Covid-19 WHS teacher Dr. Dumin explained, “Omicron is different from Delta because spike proteins have mutated to bind to our receptors, which affect antibodies given by vaccination, so you can contract the virus but you will not get as sick.” For this reason, while Covid cases have been increasing, hospitalizations have not been increasing at the same rate. Vaccinated individuals are much less likely to have severe symptoms.

 

Trying to prevent the virus from spreading is essential to help keep winter sports around. The most effective ways you can contribute are by wearing a properly fitted mask, getting your vaccine, and receiving your annual booster shot to help strengthen your immunity to the virus¬† “Getting a booster shot after vaccination is important and one of the most effective ways to strengthen your immunity, your immunity to the virus after 6-8 months drops significantly.” says Dr. Dumin. Booster shots have recently become available to ages 12-17 and available throughout local towns. At-home testing kits will be available to students who have Covid like symptoms by the school’s health office.

 

Between January 14 and January 18, 19 members of WHS have reported positive tests. Covid is in our school, but with precautions, WHS can slow the spread.