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Health - Public Health News

Posted on: November 29, 2021

The Omicron variant

Over the holiday weekend, news stories broke about a new coronavirus variant, Omicron. Because this is a new variant, it will be a few weeks before we know more about how transmissible it is, whether it causes more severe disease, and how much the vaccines protect us from it.


In the meantime, here’s what we do know:

  • Omicron hasn’t been detected in the United States yet, but there are confirmed cases in Canada. It’s reasonable to assume that it will be detected in the U.S. soon.

  • The same tools that work against other coronavirus strains are still our best tools: vaccination, masks, ventilation, testing, and isolating if you test positive.

  • There are over 58,000 people in Whatcom County who are eligible for the vaccine but haven’t initiated vaccination yet. Please get vaccinated if you haven’t already.

  • Booster shots for COVID-19 vaccines help stimulate your immune system. If you’re 18 or over and it’s been more than six months since your last Pfizer or Moderna dose, or more than two months since your J&J dose, please schedule a booster dose.


Our COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths remain high in Whatcom County, even without a new variant that might be more contagious or more severe. Please protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community by getting vaccinated or getting boosted. 

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