Officials say students will be sent home with a coronavirus testing kit and they will need to show a negative test to return Jan. 24.This comes as there is a huge demand for testing.
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Meanwhile, the CDC issued new mask guidelines.
The new CDC guidance says well-fitting disposable surgical masks and KN95 masks offer more protection, and respirators, including N95 masks, offer the highest level of protection. It does not say, however, you must upgrade your masks, saying any mask is better than no mask at all.
“Tight fit so you don’t have a lot of gaps and that it has enough layers, at least three layers of material, that’s going to do a really good job filtering virus particles,” said L.A. County Public Health Department Director Barbara Ferrer.
Hundreds of people turned out in Rancho Cucamonga Friday. It was a drive-thru event and there was a limit of one kit per vehicle. About 1,000 kits were handed out in the span of about an hour.
“I think the drive-through method has proved to be successful for us. It allows people to come in and get out quickly without having to get out of their cars. It reduces the spread of COVID-19, which is obviously our biggest hope as a community,” said Nicole Dalton, with the Rancho Cucamonga Fire District.
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As COVID-19 spreads, health officials say hundreds of hospitals across the country are facing staff shortages.
Even though omicron overall doesn’t appear to bring on severe illness there is an increase in hospitalizations.
“The numbers of people that are in the hospital right now are greater than the numbers we saw the entire time we were in the delta surge,” Ferrer said.
Across Southern California, hospitals are at an average about 70% occupied. San Bernardino County is the highest at 81%. About 20 to 30% of those occupied beds were filled with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 patients.
“Just about everybody who is in an ICU bed is an unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated person,” added Ferrer.
Starting Saturday, when you get a home COVID-19 test kit, it should be able to be reimbursed by health insurance, but getting your hands on one, however, might be difficult.
The government is hoping to send out 1 billion rapid tests as well, but that could take weeks.
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