For Immediate ReleaseDecember 17, 2021
The following is a joint statement on behalf of public health officials of Marin, Alameda, Contra Costa, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties as well as the City of Berkeley.
San Francisco Bay Area - Public health agencies across the Bay Area urge everyone eligible to get vaccinated and, if eligible, get a booster shot right away to protect against the rapidly spreading Omicron variant.
Widely available via appointment or drop-in sites, boosters maintain the power of vaccines to strongly protect against severe illness and death from COVID-19. Everyone should get one when eligible, but particularly those over 50 or those with significant underlying health conditions.
You should get a booster shot if
Public health officials in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Sonoma counties as well as the City of Berkeley encourage anyone eligible who needs a booster dose to get one as soon as possible.
Currently, just 95,000 of 188,000 eligible Marin County residents have received a booster. Marin County recently detected its first Omicron variant case.
Many more cases of Omicron are expected to be reported in the coming days and weeks, and, based on the exponential growth in cases being seen in Europe, there is a significant risk of exponential growth in COVID-19 cases in our region. The United Kingdom currently has more COVID-19 cases than at any time during the 2-year pandemic. Other highly vaccinated countries that mirror the Bay Area’s high vaccination rates, such as Denmark and Norway, are predicting Omicron will become the dominant variant in a matter of days.
Evidence suggests that Omicron spreads more rapidly than other variants, and more is being learned every day. Although some evidence suggests that a lower percentage of people infected with Omicron may be hospitalized and die, if a surge causes many thousands of new cases per day, even a small percentage of that total entering our hospitals will overwhelm healthcare delivery systems.
“we have a lot of control over our risk,” said Dr. Lisa Santora, Deputy Public Health Officer. “We’ve benefited from high vaccination rates so far, and we’ll continue to lean into the protection of vaccines to meet the next challenge. It’s time to get boosted.”
In addition to vaccinations and boosters, masking, testing, ventilation, and distancing remain an effective multi-layered defense against COVID-19. As the holiday season is upon us, people should stay mindful of risks and take steps to decrease them.
If people must travel or gather for the holidays:
Parents of very young children and those who have not been vaccinated should make sure to take all advised precautions. Avoid large gatherings. Always wear a mask in indoor public settings (unless under age 2).
To find a booster shot appointment or drop-in booster location in Marin County, please go to GetVaccinatedMarin.org.
Laine HendricksPublic Information OfficerCounty Administrator's Office
3501 Civic Center DriveSuite #325San Rafael, CA 94903(415) 473-7496Email: Laine HendricksCounty Administrator website