We have introduced measures to protect our community and prevent our healthcare system from being overwhelmed throughout this pandemic. As I mentioned on Friday, the new omicron variant allows us to reevaluate some of those measures based on the following;
- Omicron, although highly transmissible, causes less severe illness and reduced hospitalizations than previous variants of covid-19.
- We have an incredibly high vaccination rate in our community which further reduces the risk of severe disease and subsequent overburdening of the healthcare system.
Therefore at this moment, the most significant impact of COVID on our community is not an overwhelmed healthcare system, but the hindered functioning of our society due to large numbers of close contacts having to home quarantine.
To allow our society to function effectively, we have decided to remove strict home quarantine and replace it with a close contact monitoring system. The Public Health Department will assist positive cases in identifying close contacts.
Close contacts should adhere to the following:
1. Wear a mask in public.
2. Avoid contact with vulnerable persons.
3. Monitor for symptoms and self-test or call saba cares if symptoms develop.
4. Test at the testing center on day 5.
As we continue to lessen measures while monitoring the situation to ensure everyone is kept safe, we removed quarantine for incoming travelers in February regardless of their vaccination status.
Starting Tuesday, March 29th, there will be no more home quarantine for close contacts of positive cases; this includes contacts now in quarantine.
Safety of the Public and continued services remain our number one goal in our covid-19 mitigation process.
In the last week, covid-19 active cases have gone up, so it may seem strange to continue relaxing measures, but we are confident in our high vaccination rate. Also, as mentioned before, omicron presently being the dominant variant of covid-19 in circulation.
The reality is that covid is here to stay. We will have moments of spikes in cases or outbreaks but what’s important is that we all keep doing our part to protect each other.
Remember, please use your discretion when it comes to your safety and the safety of others.
Continue practicing good hand hygiene, wear a mask or social distance if you deem it necessary, and call Saba Cares when you are not feeling well.