TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa Health Department leaders gave their perspectives on the ongoing COVID-19 surge on Wednesday and they had an unexpected warning for the public.
“I am getting people sending me messages through Facebook and other places saying that people are having omicron parties to get exposed. Well don’t do that," Dr. Bruce Dart the Executive Director for the Tulsa Health Department said. "Nobody wants to find out their selves if they would have a mild case or not.”
Whether someone is attempting to get the virus or not, Dart says this variant is leading to some of the worst statistics yet.
“We had our highest case counts ever over 7,000. I think our previous high was closer to 4,400. Every single zip code on our zip code map is in the dark red,” Dart said.
The peak for this surge has yet to be determined, but Dart said it could be sooner than later.
“If you look at all the modeling it really varies. I mean we can peak by end of January. We could peak by the mid of February we really and truly don’t know, but I would expect some kind of peak in the next 4 to 6 weeks,“ Dart said.
Wednesday's update from the health department also confirmed what's happening nationally to be happening locally where the omicron variant showing to be more infectious than past variants.
“For omicron nationally, it's about 10 infections per one person who’s infected and that’s extremely high," Dart said. "If you recall early on in the pandemic the rate was around 2.5-3. It looks like delta has been close to that 5-7.”
Dart also said many people are discovering they have COVID when they go to the hospital with other illness like RSV.
With all that said, he suggests wearing medical-grade masks instead of cloth masks and keeping your guard up as he says this is not the time to relax.
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