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Play It Safe During Omicron: Here's How

January 06, 2022

With infection rates and hospitalizations rising, people are bound to ask, “Are the safety measures we put in place almost two years ago really working?” The short answer is “YES.” The expanded answer is, “But only if we remain careful.” [caption id="attachment_30277" align="alignleft" width="150"]Keith Grant Keith Grant, APRN[/caption] Masks work. Please wear a face covering over your nose and mouth whenever you are indoors. The blue procedure masks have been proven to be more effective than cloth masks, and they are readily available. All visitors are expected to wear a well fitted mask while visiting Hartford HealthCare facilities. Physical distancing helps. Keeping six feet (or more, if possible) from others helps prevent the spread of the virus. Yes, vaccines and boosters are effective. The purpose of these vaccines is to amp up immune systems to render the virus less effective. That does not always mean vaccinated people are unable to get COVID-19; in fact, we are seeing a good number of fully vaccinated people test positive for the virus. But the symptoms (if any) are far more likely to be mild, hospitalizations are less likely and death is very unlikely for the vaccinated. Plus, other tried-and-true measures like monitoring your temperature, checking for signs and symptoms, hand-washing and limiting exposure to crowds are still important. We are all tired of COVID. It’s natural to see the spike caused by Omicron and become disheartened. But that’s how viruses win. We need to stay vigilant and follow the sound advice that will keep us safe for our families and the people we serve. Keith Grant, APRN, is Hartford HealthCare's Senior Director of Infection Prevention.