Omicron weighs on booster lines, holiday gatherings

Harborview Medical Center doctor says it’s now the dominant strain

Omicron has become the dominant strain of COVID-19 throughout King County, according to Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center’s medical director for infection prevention and control, Dr. John Lynch.

“We’re going to see it replace the delta strain in Eastern Washington and north and south Washington here very soon,” said Lynch in a Dec. 23 UW Medicine news release.

Despite omicron’s rapid spread, healthy people who are fully vaccinated and have received their booster should mostly expect cold-like symptoms if they contract the variant, he said. If you test positive, regardless of test type or your vaccination status, reconsider attending any holiday gatherings, Lynch maintained.

“I know how hard this is for everyone,” Lynch said. “But if that happened to me, I would stay home if my antigen test was positive. Even if I had no symptoms, I would assume that that test is correct, given how much COVID there is out there.”

As for setting final holiday plans if you’re healthy, it will be smart to keep your celebrations intimate, according to Lynch.

“I’m sticking with the same tried-and-true stuff,” he said. “I’m sticking with my pod. No big gatherings. Everyone I’m working with and hanging out with is vaccinated.”