First published in the Jan. 6 print issue of the San Marino Tribune.
The coronavirus pandemic has recently “exploded” in San Marino, Fire Chief Mario Rueda said, while encouraging what amounts to a back-to-basics approach to battle the Omicron variant.
As of Tuesday morning, San Marino has 762 reported cases of COVID-19, up from 503 cases on Dec. 2. That number does not include those who may have self-tested and received a positive result but not reported the results to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It also does not count those who might have contracted the virus but are asymptomatic.
“I have no idea,” Rueda said when asked what San Marino’s actual number might look like when considering self-testing.
The community is well-vaccinated according to recent data, as 10,787 San Marino residents are vaccinated — 83.2% of the population aged 12 or older — with 5,503 having received a booster — 42.4%. Young people between the ages of 12-17 have been vaccinated at a 97.4% clip. Among residents 65 or older, 95.8% are fully vaccinated and 69.3% have received a booster.
Consistent with his strategy since the pandemic began in March 2020, Rueda encouraged continued caution.
“I think the last thing anyone would want on their conscience is to infect a friend, neighbor or loved one with COVID, especially someone that is vulnerable or unable to get the vaccine,” Rueda said Monday.
“I hate sounding like a broken record, but we should all stay vigilant, Avoid crowds and close contact. Wear a properly fitted mask when physical distancing is not possible and in poorly ventilated settings. Clean your hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water, and stay home if you’re not feeling well.”
Authorities expect COVID infection numbers to rise in the wake of holiday gatherings and the delay in exhibiting symptoms.