A winter COVID-19 surge has arrived as cases and hospitalizations are on the rise, but the Bay Area is faring better than other regions.
Coronavirus cases in the Bay Area have risen 37% over the past week, and hospitalizations are up 9% since Thanksgiving, according to an analysis by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Health officials say the uptick is another reminder for people to get vaccinated, or if already vaccinated to get a booster shot, which is now available to 16-17-year-olds who received the Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago.
People also should continue to wear masks when inside public settings and avoid large crowds, even if they're vaccinated. The delta variant is still the dominant strain, not the highly contagious omicron variant.
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Only 13 cases of the omicron variant have been reported in California.
Back east, the surge is more severe, with New York and Massachusetts ordering hospitals to halt elective surgeries so there are more beds available for COVID-19 patients.
California thus far has not indicated there would be a similar move or other shutdowns as the surge peaks.