Med Center doctor provides information on Omicron variant

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – With the Omicron variant of COVID-19 increasing rapidly globally, the Medical Center at Bowling Green is hoping to spread awareness about the virus and remind the public to take precautions.

According to Dr. Patricia Watson, an infectious disease doctor at the Med Center, the Omicron variant is more easily transmissible than other variants of the virus and is showing a lower response rate to the vaccine.

She says the booster shot brings the effectiveness up from about 35% to around 75% for the variant and encourages everyone to get boosted.

Watson says she highly recommends people get a negative COVID test before spending time with large groups of people for New Years celebrations and advises the public to wear surgical masks instead of just a fabric mask.

“Delta was already a more aggressive variant. The problem with Omicron is that it has many, many mutations and those mutations are giving it more characteristics that make it a lot of concern because it’s allowed it to replicate much faster than the Delta variant,” said Watson.

Quarantine changes were also approved in the wake of the Omicron variant by the CDC. Now people exposed or testing positive are now only required to quarantine for 5 days instead of the previous 10 days.