Monroe County and health system officials in Rochester believe the Omicron variant of COVID is now the dominant variant in the Rochester area. It was detected in 125 samples collected between December 1st and 15th, according to Dr. Michael Apostolakas of UR Medicine.
Apostalakas, his counterpart at Rochester Regional Health, and County Health Commissioner Dr. Michael Mendoza all say it was just a matter of time before the Omicron variant got here.
Dr. Mendoza and the other officials say being vaccinated and wearing a mask, especially a surgical or N-95 mask, is the best way to protect yourself against the new COVID strain. Dr. Robert Mayo of Rochester Regional Health says the vaccine protects you, even if you still get COVID, because vaccinated people have milder symptoms.
The three doctors say the fact that Omicron has become the dominant strain in less than a month shows how fast it spreads.