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Contra Costa Requiring Boosters Or Weekly Testing For First Responders, Homeless Shelter Workers Due To Omicron Considerations – CBS San Francisco

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (CBS SF) – Citing the Omicron variant, Contra Costa County officials are requiring first responders and homeless shelters to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster or undergo weekly tests.

The order, which comes into effect January 10, applies to law enforcement agencies, firefighters, emergency medical personnel who work or respond to calls in “high-risk facilities” such as hospitals, prisons, care or community facilities. Workers in homeless shelters are also covered by the requirement, as are rescue workers who transport patients in the facilities mentioned above.

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Workers who have not received a booster by the deadline must undergo a weekly PCR or antigen test.

Contra Costa County’s new booster need comes amid a surge in COVID-19 cases believed to be driven by the fast-spreading variant. Health officials said the average daily number of new cases discovered in the county rose about 156% over the past week to 313 new cases per day.

The first cases of the variant in the district were only confirmed by health authorities a week ago.

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Meanwhile, many residents of the county have not yet received their booster vaccinations, with only 36% of people aged 16 and over receiving the third vaccination.

“The Omicron variant is much more contagious than previous COVID-19 strains,” said Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano on Monday in a statement. “Boosting is necessary for the best protection against Omicron infection and transmission. Our hospitals run the risk of being overwhelmed when a large number of our vulnerable residents fall ill. “

Last week the state required all healthcare workers, home care workers, and community care and detention center workers to receive their vaccinations.

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For more information about the booster and upcoming vaccination clinics, visit the Contra Costa Health Services website or call 1-833-829-2626.

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