Local health officials urging caution during spring break, Easter

Brittany Jacob Image
Thursday, April 14, 2022
Local health officials urging caution during spring break, Easter
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Local health officials are saying that BA.2 variant is already here, with a surge looming really soon.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- April brings Easter and spring break.

Those celebrations have local health officials, including UCSF Dr. Kenny Banh, urging people to take precautions.

"That doesn't mean locking yourself in a hole for the next two years," he said. "That means, 'Oh gosh, should I be going to that concert? What are the rates currently? Should I be going with a mask or no mask?'"

If your spring plans include travel, on Wednesday, the CDC extended the nationwide mask requirement for planes, trains and buses for two more weeks.

RELATED: CDC to extend federal mask mandate on airplanes, transit for 2 weeks

It comes as the BA.2 subvariant, now makes up more than 85 percent of the cases in the US.

While COVID-19 hospitalization rates are near an all-time low in our area, some counties are already seeing an increase in cases as people from Central California travel or welcome tourists.

In Mariposa County, they only saw a handful of cases this week -- most coming from workers at Yosemite.

"We know when we have more visitors, we have the likelihood for cases," says Mariposa County Health Officer Dr. Eric Sergienko.

In Fresno County, just a few months ago, case rates were over 200 per 100,000 people. Now, they are just two per 100,000.

Dr. John Zweifler with Fresno County's public health department says despite how far we've come, remain vigilant.

"If you're outdoors, the changes of getting COVID are much less," he said. "If you are indoors in a crowded area, having a HEPA filter can decrease the chances of getting COVID."

Dr. Zweifler says vaccines offer strong protection, offering everyone tools to protect themselves -- if they choose to use them.

"Now, it's much more about individual responsibility and recognizing when you're in those high-risk settings, protecting yourself and your loved ones in your community," he said.