SAN DIEGO — Summer’s just about over and kids are getting ready for the new school year. As it turns out, many kids and adults are already turning up sick with COVID-19.

“Even if the test shows a very faintly positive — that’s a positive. Treat it like a positive, they can be actually very contagious,”  said Dr. Abisola Olulada of Sharp Rees Stealy Medical Center.

She says San Diego County is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases and it comes as no surprise since students across our region are headed back to school.

“Because COVID is spreading, even if you have a sniffle, the odds are that it could be from COVID. We have a new more contagious variants spreading, so it’s important that you test if you have cold symptoms,” said Dr. Olulada.

According to the FDA, an updated COVID-19 mono-variant vaccine should be available in September.

Experts are warning, however, that if you’re not fully vaccinated now, have a compromised immune system or are not up-to-date with a bi-variant booster –- don’t wait.

“The best COVID vaccine is one that you can get, so update now. Don’t wait because we’re not exactly sure when that one’s gonna be out yet,” said Dr. Olulada.

She says everyone age 6 and older should be fully vaccinated and boosted as we head into the fall and winter months. If you haven’t yet received the shot at all, she recommends just the bi-variant booster alone.

For kinds under 6, the recommendations are more complicated and you may want to consult your doctor. In San Diego County, the number of kids vaccinated is very low, according to Dr. Olulada.

“In the 12 to 17 age range, only about 14% of children have been vaccinated, for example,” said explained. “And it’s even lower in kids younger than that.” 

With the threat of flu, RSV and COVID in the coming months, she says now’s the time to get prepared.

“Unfortunately, it is a big deal. It’s still possible for children to get really sick from COVID. Even if they don’t get sick, they can get long COVID to which can have debilitating effects,” said Dr. Olulada.