CDC confirms the first Omicron variant case in the United States, area hospitals prepare to combat the new threat.

Local health experts advise everyone to continue the same safety measures we've had since the pandemic began.

VICTORIA, Texas  – On Wednesday, Dec. 1, the CDC confirmed the first omicron variant case in San Francisco, California.

While regional hospitals are preparing for another fight against COVID-19, doctors and scientists around the world are continuing to research this new threat.

Local health experts are advising everyone to continue practicing the same safety measure, since the start of the pandemic.

Public health director, David Gonzales, encourages people to do what they can in order to protect themselves from the new variant.

“Right now as far as preparation goes, it’s gonna be a lot of the same… We encourage folks to get vaccinated, first of all, take those similar protective measures we’ve had throughout the pandemic, social distancing, facial coverings, those are really the key measures you can take and the same preventive measures now,” said Gonzales.

The CDC says despite the detection of Omicron, the delta variant remains the predominant strain in the United States.

The recent emergence of Omicron emphasizes the importance of vaccinations and boosters to protect against COVID-19. Hospitals have seen a difference in the severity of cases as more people are getting vaccinated.

Memorial Medical Center – Chief Nursing Officer, Erin Clevenger, says her hospital has seen the severity of cases first-hand.

“We keep hearing, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, but we have seen it first hand in the hospital especially with the variant surges that the vaccine, that you really see the difference in the severity in the cases of the vaccinated and the unvaccinated,” says Clevenger.

DeTar hospital released the following statement.

“Our hospital continually works to ensure preparedness for all types of infectious diseases. We remain vigilant in providing safe, quality medical care for all who access our services, and we are well prepared to support our community throughout the continuation of this illness and its variants. We take seriously our role in helping to keep our community healthy, and we are grateful for our staff who share in our commitment. Vaccination remains the best strategy for preventing COVID-19 and we encourage those who have not been vaccinated to do so. “

Citizens Medical Center released the following statement.

“We are prepared for continued surges of patients related to the pandemic, and we have testing, PPE, vaccines and medications in supply ready for use. Our negative pressure units remain available to open for patients as needed.” Dr. Daniel Cano, Chief Medical Officer

Cuero Regional Hospital released the following statement.

We continue to follow all COVID precautions including mandatory screening and best practices for our patients’ and staff’s health and safety. We are still learning about this new variant and doing our best to stay on top of the latest developments,”

Everyone 18 years and older is now eligible for the vaccine booster.

For all things COVID-19, here is the CDC webpage on how to stay prepared and safe.

Want to get the vaccine? Click here to schedule an appointment with the Victoria Public Health department.