SAN ANGELO, Texas (KLST / KSAN) – Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Tom Green County Health Department has reported nearly 26 thousand total positive cases of COVID-19. This number is expected to grow over the holiday season while people get together for celebrations.

COVID-19 can display as severe flu to mild allergy symptoms and with cases of the Omicron variant increasing across the United States, San Angelo medical professionals are expecting an increase in San Angelo as well caused by gatherings.

However, medical professionals say proper precautions may prevent further spread of the disease in the Concho Valley.

Garrett Herdman, a Physicians Assistant at Shannon Urgent Care North, says, “precautions will be making sure that they’re vaccinated and then not only the vaccinations but making sure that if they receive vaccinations, that they’re also receiving a booster.”

The booster to the COVID vaccine is recommended because data shows initial vaccinations are much less effective on the new variant. Herdman adds, “current data would suggest that fully vaccinated individuals without the booster have a roughly 33% efficacy against the new variant which we’re seeing quite a lot of throughout the united states right now.”

The community is encouraged to get tested. Or even stay home for the holidays if symptoms arise.