Fresno health officials urge public safety with upcoming holidays, says no reported case of Omicron variant yet


FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – With the holidays right around the corner, the Fresno County Department of Public continues to stress the importance of getting vaccinated and in light of the recent California mask mandate, county health officials say it’s important to mask up.

Health officials with Fresno Department of Public Health say that so far, there are no reported cases of the Omicron variant in the county, but health officials assume it’s already here.

Dr. Rais Vohra with the Department of Public Health urges the public to think twice this holiday season when it comes to gatherings.

“You need to rethink you know, how safe those actually are and make sure that you talk with the people that will be participating in those activities,” said Dr. Vohra.

He says while COVID-19 cases in the county are declining, local hospitals are still very busy.

“We’re working very closely with our hospitals to make sure they are in preparation mode for an upcoming increase in numbers,” said Dr. Vohra.

He adds that the message hasn’t changed and that getting vaccinated, and the booster shot will help reduce the spread of transmission, saying a winter surge is inevitable.

“Either a small surge or a large surge, but either way we are going to have a surge based on what they’ve been able to calculate with the numbers they have.”

With the California mask mandate in place until Jan. 15 Dr. Vohra touts the importance of masking up.

“The signals and the spirit of these mask mandates that you’ve heard this week really should reflect the utmost concern that public health authorities have about what’s going on.”

In Fresno County, the demand for booster shots has gone up, but it’s still not enough, saying that more needs to be done.

“Boosters are not extra, they’re not a luxury,” said Dr. Vohra. “I think that in light of omicron, you really just need to have your booster if you consider yourself, fully vaccinated.”

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