Coronavirus Updates

Precautions strongly recommended as Omicron spread worsens

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The statewide rate of positive COVID-19 tests at AdventHealth Centra Care on Monday reached 39.2%, an all-time high during the nearly two-year pandemic.

More people are also seeking tests at Centra Care, AdventHealth’s urgent care clinics, than during previous waves of the virus with records also set in recent days for the number of people tested.

The figures signify the rapid spread in Central Florida of Omicron, the newest virus variant that is more contagious than earlier strains. The positivity rates in Orange and Osceola counties reached nearly 50% on Monday.

The previous statewide record positivity rate for Centra Care was about 28% in July, during the Delta surge.

Dr. Tim Hendrix, senior medical director for Centra Care, told WFTV Channel 9 on Tuesday morning that he is now recommending people limit New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“Keeping your gatherings small … maybe limited to two households,” he said. “If there’s fragile people, meaning medically fragile people, you definitely want to try to get tested beforehand.”

Hendrix and other AdventHealth clinical leaders also recommended COVID-19 booster shots for anyone who hasn’t received one as well as beginning the primary vaccine series for anyone who is unvaccinated. The vaccines, particularly the booster, provides protection against Omicron, according to recent studies.

Wearing a mask as well as hand-washing and social distancing are also recommended to help reduce virus transmission.

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