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Omicron Variant Not Found in Yuma County

Yuma Chamber of Commerce

The Director of Yuma County's Health Services District says the Delta variant continues to be the primary variant circulating in our community despite Omicron spreading across the country.

Diana Gomez says although Omicron is more transmittable than the Delta variant, they have yet to see a case in the county. However, Gomez said they fully expect to see Omicron circulating in the community.

As for getting lab results back to detect the variants, Gomez said It takes up to a week.

"It takes a few days to get those results back, and then they are forwarded to the lab you are already playing catch up, and so by the time you identify a new variant, for example, the Omicron, by the time we identify our first lab, confirmed on the current case, the virus will have been circulating in our community for at least one or two."

Gomez said they have PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) testing, which is the gold standard, as well as the antigen rapid test.

The antigen rapid test is not sequenced, results will show as positive or negative for covid. The standard PCR, if positive, gets sent to the state lab for sequencing, although not every test is sequenced.

As for hospitalization numbers going up in the county, Gomez said most hospitals have space in beds. However, they don't have the staffing to take care of patients. Of those hospitalized with the virus, most are not vaccinated. Gomez said if you are vaccinated, symptoms tend to be milder, and you are released faster from the hospital than those who are not.

Gomez said the community should be mindful of not overwhelming the healthcare system to preserve resources such as elective procedures that are medically necessary.

Gomez reminds the community to seek care if you have any symptoms.

Sumiko Keil