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Public health director gives update on COVID-19 surge

YUMA, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Yuma County Board of Supervisors held its first public meeting of the New Year. During Monday's meeting, Diana Gomez, the County's public health director, spoke on the winter surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

“We’ve seen an increase, we expected to see an increase again. People were gathering for the holidays so you’re going to see that reported in our daily numbers,” Gomez said.

As of Monday morning, YRMC is reporting 64 patients are hospitalized with the virus. 55 patients are unvaccinated.

Gomez says she expects cases will peak in mid-January.

“Primary concern has always been not to overwhelm the healthcare system and many many people have encountered the fact that elective surgeries or other procedures canceled again because you have to have resources,” she added.

Meanwhile, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released updated guidelines regarding isolation time after testing positive.
But the updated guidance is raising some questions.

Chairman Tony Reyes questioned Gomez on the confusion over the CDC's new guidelines.

“The research that has come out so far indicates that you're most infectious one to two days before your symptoms show up and about one to two days after your symptoms so that's where you came down with a condensed five-day period,” Gomez explained.

The new guidelines for the public allow for people with COVID-19 to complete isolation after five days if their symptoms are gone or getting better, so long as they wear masks for at least five more days.

The guidelines currently do not recommend you get tested before your isolation ends.

Following her appearance at Monday's meeting, Gomez addressed this to News 11.

“We do know that there are breakthrough infections. So if you've been exposed to somebody who had really close contact, you should get tested. And if you don't feel well regardless of your vaccination status, you should still get tested. And again, this is not an abundance of caution. This virus is still very unpredictable and we want to keep each other safe,” the public health director said.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced Monday it will be expanding the Pfizer boosters for teenagers as young as 12.
Gomez says if your child has received their completed series within five months they are able to get this booster.

Article Topic Follows: Yuma County Coronavirus
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Cody Lee

Cody Lee joined 13 On Your Side and KYMA News 11 in March 2020, but he’s no stranger to Arizona. He grew up in the Phoenix area and enjoys everything Arizona has to offer.

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