Health officials advise on COVID, vaccine boosters for fall
With reports showing a recent uptick in COVID-19 cases, local health departments have advice for coming months.
COVID is “making its presence known,” according to reports the Summit County Health Department has received.
Summit County Public Health Director Phil Bondurant said although most people don’t report the positive tests they take at home, he’s received calls and emails from people.
“COVID continues to show that it's, it's unpredictable but to a certain degree, we are beginning to see some seasonality with it," Bondurant said. "But the good news, if there is good news to have about COVID, is that this new variant — which they're referring to as ARIS, which is an EG.5 variant — is not causing significant harm or illness among those that are infected. It is a little bit worse than a mild cold, but nonetheless, it's still here.”
Last week, reports from local wastewater treatment facilities that test for COVID-19 presence came in.
The Snyderville Basin Silver Creek facility treats water from Park City, Promontory and the eastern Snyderville Basin. The report from there showed a slow rise since mid-July. The area has the status of “watch,” between the “low” and “elevated” classifications for how much COVID is in a sample for the area.
Meanwhile, the facilities covering the rest of Summit County and Wasatch County were in the “low” category.
Bondurant said his main advice is to consult with your doctor about how to prepare for the fall. “If you don't have a primary care physician, call the health department. We have a number of qualified individuals there who are willing to walk you through any questions you might have, or answer questions about vaccines or what's to come, and really just assess what the risk level is and what risks you're willing to take and then plan accordingly.”
He said a new COVID-19 vaccine booster is expected in mid-October.
“What's being recommended, at least by the CDC on a very cursory level," he said, "if you aren't completely up to date on all of your boosters and vaccines related to COVID, is that you would wait until the [Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices] votes in late September on what the new monovalent vaccine for COVID will look like.”
He said thanks to a grant the Park City Seniors Group secured, there will be more vaccine available earlier in the Park City area and extra clinics specifically for people 60 and older.