# Covid Variant Omicron (B.1.1.529)

• COVID
nsaspook
https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHCQ/LCP/Pages/AFL-21-08.aspx
• From January 8, 2022 until February 1, 2022, HCP who test positive for SARS-CoV-2 and are asymptomatic, may return to work immediately without isolation and without testing, and HCPs who have been exposed and are asymptomatic may return to work immediately without quarantine and without testing. These HCPs must wear an N95 respirator for source control.
Hospitals there are adapting to the new reality of Omicron infections in highly vaccinated populations.

I'm getting pissed off at the lines at my doctor's office. I need to go twice a month for non-COVID testing to first do my A1c blood test and then come in again to get read results (I'm always over the normal threshold, so they cannot deliver bad results by phone - only good ones). There are people coming in strictly for COVID tests and nothing else. They are 90% of the people and bloat the waiting lines.

I feel even if I didn't have COVID, I'd get it from standing in line. It's annoying me. States/locales need to have COVID testing ONLY places. People are probably getting it at the doctor's office! I don't wanna wait in line again tomorrow in the freaking cold.

This was pretty cool, though.

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I need to go twice a month for non-COVID testing to first do my A1c blood test and then come in again to get read results (I'm always over the normal threshold, so they cannot deliver bad results by phone - only good ones).
Can't they be normal and use a service such as ManageMyHealth (https://www.managemyhealth.co.nz/) so you can see your blood test results, and message you anything the Dr finds relevant (rather than you go in twice)? Also, don't you lot have dedicated blood test centres (seperate from the doctor)? (https://www.wellingtonscl.co.nz/)

Pfizer's chief executive has revealed that two doses of the current Covid-19 vaccine offer "very limited protection, if any" against Omicron, although two doses plus a booster offer "reasonable protection" against hospitalisation and death.

Albert Bourla made the comments in an interview with Yahoo Finance after the company announced a new Omicron-specific version of the vaccine would be ready by March, with doses already being manufactured.
-- https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/co...ine-in-production/6GRQLK3TSL6XBIAXAZWR2GKNHU/

Can't they be normal and use a service such as ManageMyHealth (https://www.managemyhealth.co.nz/) so you can see your blood test results, and message you anything the Dr finds relevant (rather than you go in twice)? Also, don't you lot have dedicated blood test centres (seperate from the doctor)? (https://www.wellingtonscl.co.nz/)
His office doesn't have online health management. There are other labs I could go to or just another doctor to get tested that have that. This Dr. wants me to come in each time after my bad results to chat (maybe so he can make money?????)...but it's not bad, since the co-pay is only $25 with my insurance. What IS BAD is having to do this during Omicron's surge. Honestly, I feel like just skipping on him. I'm not gonna die of diabetes (esp., since I'm on meds now) in a few months. I might wait for Omicron to fade, before going in. I have 1 refill of meds, so that'll last me another month. I'm avoiding crowds and try to get shopping done early morning at 7am/8am. I feel like the later you wait into the day, more people go through a store and touch stuff and breathe all over the air. Going right when a store opens is best, imho. gmax137 Science Advisor first do my A1c blood test and then come in again to get read results I have had the A1C test in the doctors office: they take one drop of blood and seven minutes later read the results. The doctor does other doctorly things during the seven minutes (listen to my heart, look in my ears, etc.). hutchphd Science Advisor Homework Helper Every two weeks????? I recommend the following publication: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK253477/ Note that the advisory is the test not be given more often than 4 times annually during stabilization period and 2 times annually thereafter. Astronuc Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Amid a flurry of flight cancellations, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby offered a window into the staffing challenges employers are facing due to the omicron surge. "We have about 3,000 employees who are currently positive for COVID. Just as an example, in one day alone at Newark, nearly one-third of our workforce called out sick," he wrote in a memo to employees on Tuesday. https://www.npr.org/sections/corona...covid-but-its-vaccine-mandate-has-saved-lives Meanwhile - CBS reports that the leading cause of death of police and law enforcement officers was COVID-19, the group's newly released Law Enforcement Officers Fatalities Report said. The report found 301 officers died from COVID-19 in 2021, a 65% increase from the year before. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/covid-19-police-officer-cause-of-deaths-2021/ The state of New Jersey declares an emergency as the state records "35,000 new coronavirus cases a day with more than 10,000 current hospitalizations." https://thehill.com/homenews/state-...lares-state-of-emergency-over-omicron-variant https://www.nj.com/data/2022/01/cov...y-every-nj-county-see-the-major-hotspots.html https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2022...rphys-emergency-powers-are-set-to-expire.html Edit/update: The omicron-driven surge has sent COVID-19 hospitalizations skyrocketing across the U.S., reaching a new pandemic high this week with 145,982 patients hospitalized. . . . Patients with COVID now fill about 30% of ICU beds in the nation and pediatric COVID hospitalizations are also at the highest rate of the pandemic. https://www.npr.org/sections/health...it-new-record-high-raising-risks-for-patients https://www.npr.org/local/305/2022/...tions-to-record-breaking-levels-in-d-c-region The state of Missouri reports 3,310 hospitalizations or 84% of hospital capacity, with 692 patients in ICU or 78% of ICU capacity of which 372 patients are on ventilators as of January 9. Reporting of patient numbers may be delayed by one or two days. https://health.mo.gov/living/health...coronavirus/data/public-health/healthcare.php Last edited: atyy .but it's not bad, since the co-pay is only$25 with my insurance.
I pay NZD$19.50 for a 15 min consult with my GP. Sounds like he is scamming you out of money if you're paying USD$25 for a consult with the GP for a blood test, then another \$25 for a follow up on results.

I'm not sure what to make of this, but it seems bad.

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Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
I hope your son has a very mild case of whatever he has.
My son just learned his PCR test result is positive for SARS-Cov-2, probably Omicron variant. He has a mild case, so far. He has no fever, but feels very tired, and has had a slight cough and some congestion (much like a typical coronavirus common cold). We're now talking with a friend, who is a physician's assistant regarding possible treatments.

chemisttree, dlgoff and PeroK
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
I'm off to get my first test for SARS-Cov-2. My son seems to be recovering. His has ceased coughing and sneezing, but he's sleeping in today. My wife got tested yesterday.

Edit/update: My rapid test was negative (PCR results will be available next week, hopefully Monday), and my wife's PCR test was negative.

Edit/update:
If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, don’t run to get tested right away — the earliest you can test positive for COVID is between 24 and 48 hours after exposure, according to Verywell Health.
. . .

Other health experts, however, say that you can test positive earlier than that, and that the best days to get tested are days 2, 3 and 4 after exposure, or within 48 to 72 hours, according to The New York Times. In other words, experts suggest that waiting for a full 5 days may be too long, and you risk spreading the virus to others in the meantime.

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chemisttree
I had a Covid test yesterday. 11 hrs ago they texted me the result which was NEGATIVE. YAY FOR LIFE.

dlgoff, collinsmark, chemisttree and 1 other person
dlgoff
Gold Member
I've been wondering about a fourth dose for the COVID-19 vaccine. There are different opinions whether or not there needs to be a fourth dose. Here is one example about this:

My health provider tells me they haven't heard anything about a fourth dose.

What am I missing?
I guess it's in the works:

from https://vanderbilthustler.com/45305/featured/pfizer-to-offer-fourth-covid-19-vaccine-dose/
This dose intends to target the omicron variant with manufacturing set to finish in March 2022.

collinsmark
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
My health provider tells me they haven't heard anything about a fourth dose.
My wife's healthcare provider has mentioned that she is qualified for a fourth dose. It may not yet be an official position by the NIH, CDC, HHS or whatever government department is responsible for such a determination.

dlgoff
Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
For more discussion of the drug see this PF thread: https://www.physicsforums.com/threa...ew-anti-viral-drugs-to-treat-covid-19.992545/
Here's a nice piece with some discussion on what Paxlovid means for the future of the pandemic: https://www.science.org/content/blog-post/pfizer-s-good-news-world-s-good-news
Here's a nice piece on the chemistry behind manufacturing Paxlovid: https://www.science.org/content/blog-post/making-paxlovid

COVID antiviral drugs are here but they're scarce.
https://www.npr.org/sections/health...323181/covid-antivirals-paxlovid-molnupiravir

I asked my doctor's office about potential treatment if my son (who tested positive) or I were to contract the virus, and I explicitly asked about Paxlovid. I was told that neither of us would be prescribed Paxlovid, unless COVID-19 were severe (in other words, the viral infection was doing serious damage already). Apparently, there treatment is some corticosteroid and stay home, but go to ER if there is high fever or trouble breathing, . . . . , in other words, stay home unless one is severely distressed!

However, some folks (with connections and/or money) apparently can get Paxlovid. The local pharmacy sells out as soon as they get it.

In New Jersey - Long-awaited COVID antiviral pills now available at more than 50 N.J. Walgreens locations

https://www.nj.com/coronavirus/2022...e-at-more-than-50-nj-walgreens-locations.html

The distribution of Paxlovid is certainly not uniform as the map from Texas shows for the last week in December. Harris county has the highest number of cases, yet no pharmacy is shown on the map.

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gleem
Forgive me if this has been touched upon (TLDR). But with 288 NFL gave played (16 games per week for 18 weeks) and an average attendance of 50,000 persons per game that 58 million person hours with very close proximity to pass on the infection than we would not otherwise have had.

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bhobba
Mentor
Pooping in gardens? How long were these lines????

Very long. They were waiting for many hours. So long, it was unworkable, and they had to introduce rapid antigen tests quickly. Here in QLD, we were supposed to get 1 million such tests - but got 100,000. Inside Pubic Service joke - the wheels of government grind slowly but surely.

bhobba
Mentor
If cases haven't peaked, then hospitalizations haven't either. What's the lag, 1-2 weeks?

The Chief Medical Officer here in Queensland announced he expects the peak in Brisbane to occur at end of January, beginning February. The hospital peak one to maybe two weeks later. The early stats are with a third dose you have a 90% less chance of dying. But this is an evolving situation and it can change.

Thanks
Bill

PeroK
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2021 Award
I had a Covid test yesterday. 11 hrs ago they texted me the result which was NEGATIVE. YAY FOR LIFE.
If you get COVID in NZ you are one in a million!

The way it works, and this is just recently, is everyone accepts the negative of a rapid test. But if positive, you must get a PCR test immediately.
???
As far as I know usually that works the other way around. With rapid tests, false negative is far more frequent than false positive. So if the rapid is positive it is accepted as positive: if it's negative, you may better to do a PCR.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus
As far as I know usually that works the other way around. With rapid tests, false negative is far more frequent than false positive.
That was my son's situation. His rapid test was negative, but then he developed a slight, intermittent cough. Over a couple of days, fatigue set in, and he was congested, like a common cold but without fever. Five days after his negative rapid test, he was notified of positive PCR test result. So, he's been isolating for several days. My rapid test came back negative, which doesn't mean much after my son's experience. I'm waiting for the PCR test result taken at the same time. I do not have symptoms, but I could be asymptomatic. My wife (who is particularly vulnerable to a respiratory virus infection) got a PCR test with an overnight turnaround, and she has tested negative.

Interestingly, I when I arranged for the test, I was told I should wait 5 days or onset of symptoms. I had to explain to the person on the phone that it was at least 5 days when my son was tested, and he tested positive. I may have been exposed, for at least 5 or 6 days, since we don't know when my son was exposed, and he was only exposed over two days, was notified two days after the exposure, then tested the following day after notification. Then it was 5 or 6 days after when I got my test.

I'm off to get my first test for SARS-Cov-2. My son seems to be recovering. His has ceased coughing and sneezing, but he's sleeping in today. My wife got tested yesterday.
I posted a link in that post in which it mentions getting tested about 48 hours after exposure and the optimal time (with Omicron?) is 48 to 96 hours (2 to 4 days) after exposure. Five days could be too late, if one has a low virus load.

So the five days wait suggested by the doctor's office was ridiculous. So the testing is somewhat inconsistent, and the treatment is inconsistent.

bhobba
That was my son's situation. His rapid test was negative, but then he developed a slight, intermittent cough. Over a couple of days, fatigue set in, and he was congested, like a common cold but without fever. Five days after his negative rapid test, he was notified of positive PCR test result. So, he's been isolating for several days. My rapid test came back negative, which doesn't mean much after my son's experience. I'm waiting for the PCR test result taken at the same time. I do not have symptoms, but I could be asymptomatic. My wife (who is particularly vulnerable to a respiratory virus infection) got a PCR test with an overnight turnaround, and she has tested negative.

Interestingly, I when I arranged for the test, I was told I should wait 5 days or onset of symptoms. I had to explain to the person on the phone that it was at least 5 days when my son was tested, and he tested positive. I may have been exposed, for at least 5 or 6 days, since we don't know when my son was exposed, and he was only exposed over two days, was notified two days after the exposure, then tested the following day after notification. Then it was 5 or 6 days after when I got my test.

I posted a link in that post in which it mentions getting tested about 48 hours after exposure and the optimal time (with Omicron?) is 48 to 96 hours (2 to 4 days) after exposure. Five days could be too late, if one has a low virus load.

So the five days wait suggested by the doctor's office was ridiculous. So the testing is somewhat inconsistent, and the treatment is inconsistent.
The home tests have a very high specificity, but a not so great sensitivity. So false negatives are part for the course.

Astronuc
Staff Emeritus