According to Barton County Health Department Administrator Joel Dermott, Barton County is once again seeing elevated levels of COVID activity in the area. As the majority of testing is primarily home based, the health department does not always get an accurate reflection of those tests in reported cases. However, they are seeing enough clinical testing and sewershed results to know that COVID has once again made its summertime return. As the heat has pushed everyone indoors to air conditioned venues, the increased opportunity for transmission in congregate settings has followed.
Dermott stated, “We have three variants of the Omicron strain – BA.2, BA.2.12.1, and BA.5 - being detected”. He went on to add, “The BA.5 is a newer variant in the area and appears to be coming on strong as it has in other parts of the country. Symptoms and severity of illness remain very consistent throughout the Omicron family. They are all highly contagious and fast moving. Exposure to symptom onset is normally one to two days, with contagiousness lasting for five days from symptom onset.”
It was noted by Dermott that several other viruses remain very active in the area as well. Dermott said, “As we make plans to gather for celebrations on the 4th, please keep in mind that outdoor gatherings are always the best option and if you are sick, please stay home. Enjoy the 4th!”
Please support the Lamar Democrat by subscribing today!