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  • Writer's pictureKaren McPhail, RN, BSN, MSN, CCM, CDP

Omicron and BA.5 / BA.4 - Considerations

At a time when many public restrictions have been lifted and individuals are desperately trying to move forward and past COVID a new strain has emerged reminding us that we are clearly not past this pandemic. In early July the BA.5 strain was identified as the most contagious strain so far in conjunction with BA.4, another sub variant which is causing more than 50% of COVID cases and making it currently the most prevalent strain in the United States.

The original Omicron strain has been relatively mild, causing less severe symptoms, hospitalizations, and death than the preceding Delta variant, however scientists are still learning about BA.5, so some data and information is still pending. The good news is that current data shows hospitalizations to be low in comparison to earlier in the pandemic. However, we are still seeing a significant increase in cases and hospitalizations across the country which does spark some concern. So how can one protect themselves and be prudent and mindful during these challenging times?

  1. Stay updated on information relating to precautions and boosters via the cdc website. Booster guidelines are changing from time to time. Get vaccinated and stay up to date on your covid vaccines.

  2. Wear a mask in appropriate circumstances. Everyone ages 2 years and older should properly wear a well-fitting mask indoors in public in areas where the COVID-19 Community Level is high, regardless of vaccination status.

  3. If you are sick and need to be around others, or are caring for someone who has COVID-19, wear a mask.

  4. If you are at increased risk for severe illness, or live with or spend time with someone at higher risk, speak to your healthcare provider about wearing a mask at medium COVID-19 Community Levels.

  5. People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected even if they are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. They should talk to their healthcare providers about what additional precautions may be necessary.

  6. Avoid poorly ventilated spaces and crowds.

  7. Test when appropriate to prevent the spread.

  8. Wash your hands often and disinfect and keep high touch areas clean.

  9. Monitor your health and follow quarantine and isolation guidelines when appropriate.

  10. Take precautions for travel.

  11. Maintain your health and fitness! Stay up on preventative health needs, focus on healthy, clean eating, exercise at your level and ability, and proper hydration!

  12. Stay connected with others, practice mindfulness, and do not let fears control your daily life and living!

  13. Try something new!

Reach out for guidance and support along the way through our contacts tab.

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