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Here's who is getting sick with COVID in Sacramento County

"Hospitalizations for patients who have their booster are nearly non-existent,” said Dr. Nicole Braxley

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — With omicron sweeping the country and local area, many want to know how they can best protect themselves. It also begs questions as to who is getting infected, what masks people should be wearing, what is safe for people to do.

Dr. Nicole Braxley, ER Medical Director at Dignity Health Mercy San Juan Medical Center, explained who is ending up in the hospital.

“From what we’ve seen so far is the majority of patients being admitted and going to the ICU remain the unvaccinated. If you have two vaccines, you’re a little bit protected. You’re definitely protected from hospitalization, but you have a bigger chance of catching COVID. Hospitalizations for patients who have their booster are nearly non-existent,” Dr. Braxley said.

Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye emphasized what tool provides the most protection.

“People need to realize that there are layers of protection. The best protection that we have right now is vaccination,” Dr. Kasirye said.

She also addressed mask use.

“Cloth masks are still useful. But definitely, if you’re going into a high-risk environment, you might need to upgrade that, or ,if you have a condition that puts you at risk, you might want to upgrade that to a surgical mask,” Dr. Kasirye said.

RELATED: Do employers need to pay for employees to get a COVID test or vaccine?

Dr. Braxley emphasized the need for better masks.

“Unfortunately, the omicron variant is very contagious and transmissible, and you’re better off wearing a surgical mask. Here in the hospital, we’re wearing N95s now, even for just regular patient encounters to keep ourselves protected,” she said.

Dr. Braxley also used her own perspective to emphasize how others can assess risk.

“The thing I consider is, I don’t want to go back into lockdown. I want my kids to go to school. I want to come into work. I want to go to the grocery store. I am avoiding in-person gatherings that aren’t necessary. So, for example, if someone invites me to a party and it’s indoors, I’m probably not going to go. I used to go to a yoga class; I’m now doing yoga online. But my necessities, I’m going to go to," she said. "So just look at your own situation, look at your needs, and make the determination, not only what’s best for you and your family, but just consider the public because we’re all in this together."

RELATED: Omicron may be headed for a rapid drop in US and Britain

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