Health experts on COVID spread during holidays: ‘Expect this to get worse’


SAN DIEGO — Medical experts are sounding the alarm once again as the omicron and delta variant are hitting San Diego after the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It’s a surge on a surge on a surge,” said Abisola Olulade, doctor of family medicine at Sharp Rees-Stealy. “We can absolutely expect this to get worse.”

Doctors from Sharp Rees-Stealy and University of California, San Diego are warning the unvaccinated to get protected as fast as possible and for those with two shots to get boosted if it’s time. 

“Three is now the new two,” Olulade said.

Experts from UC San Diego say the omicron variant is most likely making up 20% of new infections and will likely become the primary virus in just a matter of weeks. 

“This virus is this contagious,” said Marlene Millen, the chief medical information officer with UC San Diego Health. “It’s just everyone is likely going to experience it, and the volume that we would see of our unvaccinated folks would overwhelm our hospitals again.”

Olulade added that if you’re unvaccinated, don’t expect that you’ll be significantly protected from the new variant, even if you’ve had an infection with COVID in the past.

Although San Diego County health officials have announced just a handful of confirmed omicron cases, health experts say the community spread is happening.

“It’s here and its very infectious,” Millen said. “So if you’ve been holding out for some reason on getting vaccinated, I would say stop the hold out.” 

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