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Omicron-driven COVID-19 surge hitting Eagle County ‘like nothing we have ever seen’

Vail Health’s chief population health officer says, more than ever, residents need to prioritize overall health

VAIL, Colo. — The latest COVID-19 variant is spreading fast in Eagle County, but it’s too early to tell just what that means for residents and visitors. The main takeaway, according to Vail Health’s chief population health officer, is that we have to learn to live with the virus and use every tool at our disposal to do so.

Vail Health’s Chris Lindley said new cases have increased dramatically in the past few weeks, and that “there’s no doubt” that the recently-discovered omicron variant is driving the surge.

“It’s absolutely driving it, because the rapid increase in acceleration is like nothing we have ever seen, really,” Lindley said.

Eagle County and Vail Health’s testing shows only whether an individual is positive or negative for the virus. Samples are sent to a state lab for testing to determine what virus variant resulted in a positive test. There’s a roughly four-week lag time between sending a sample and results, Lindley said.

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But, he added, based on the increase in positive tests, it’s clear the omicron variant is causing the exponential growth of new cases. That includes more “breakthrough” cases for those who have been vaccinated than Vail Health has ever seen across its valley-wide health care system, Lindley said. 

The omicron variant seems to have supplanted the delta variant that crept across the world earlier this year.

Read the full article in the Vail Daily

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