SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California Gov. Gavin Newsom is doubling down on a plan to slow the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant within California.
COVID cases are spiking, but is it omicron, delta or both?READ MORE: Independent Study Program Overwhelmed As Sacramento City Unified Extends Vaccine Mandate Deadline
“You’re around a lot of people no matter what you do,” said a man named Mark, who was in line to get a COVID-19 test in South Sacramento. “A lot of people are just wanting to see family.”
No matter what your reason is, there’s a real desire to stay safe as cases in California doubled in just one week.
Christmas is just days away, driving people to stand in long lines at testing sites. Some say getting tests is becoming harder to come by.
“We’ve been looking around for about a week,” two brothers waiting in line in South Sacramento told CBS13.
Now, Newsom is launching an action plan to try to slow the spread of COVID in the state.
This includes mandating a booster shot for healthcare workers by February 1, increasing testing for students, sending six million rapid tests to students K-12, and expanding hours at community testing sites.
“I’m mindful at this moment being the sixth-lowest positivity rate in the state that can change in a matter of days not weeks,” Newsom said.
But how quickly is omicron spreading?READ MORE: Sacramento Man Indicted, Accused Of Plotting To Kill Or Kidnap President Biden, VP Harris
In Sacramento County, the Department of Health confirms only two cases have been reported, plus there’s been detection in county wastewater.
The numbers are so low because health officials say they can’t physically test each lab result for the variant.
“We also know were only sequencing a fraction of the specimens that we get, we know there’s more out there,” Sacramento County Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said.
But in Yolo County, it’s another story where the county has access to the UC Davis Genome Center, which has access to more than half of all lab tests in the county. And each test is then tested again to find out the variant.
“I would say, in the next week, nearly every case of COVID will be the omicron,” said Dr. Aimee Sisson, Yolo County health officer.
She’s warning of the quick spread of omicron in the county, which now accounts for 41 percent of all cases after it was first seen just two weeks ago.
When it comes to hospitalizations, the numbers have been rising slowly — up 15 percent in the last 11 days.
While concern over the spread is strong, the variant isn’t. Health experts say the delta variant was far more deadly.MORE NEWS: Foresthill Bridge Reopened After Hazmat Incident, Deputy Hospitalized
But for the unvaccinated, omicron can still put you in the hospital.