December 7, 2022

Santa Clara County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said Thursday she expects a “deluge” of omicron cases in the county as the COVID-19 variant begins sweeping across the Bay Area and residents start traveling and gathering for the holidays.

“What I see is perhaps one of the most challenging moments we’ve had yet in the pandemic,” Cody said at a news conference. “And I think it’s challenging because it’s not what we’re expecting. We’ve all come to live with COVID over the last two years, and we’re all a bit tired. But I want to let you know, when I look around the corner, I see a lot of COVID, and a lot of omicron.”

Although the number of omicron cases in Santa Clara County remains low — 10 as of Thursday — there are indications they  will soon rise, Cody said. Last week, the county announced a single omicron case but noted it also found the new variant in a wastewater plant. By Thursday, Cody said the county had detected omicron in all four of its wastewater plants, which she said serve a majority of the region’s population.

And while Santa Clara County’s vaccination numbers remain among the highest in the country — 80% of all eligible individuals in the entire region are inoculated with at least two doses — worldwide evidence suggests the county may not be able to escape a widespread outbreak of the new variant.

That is another reason everyone age 16 and older should get a booster shot, she urged.

She said Norway and Denmark, which have vaccination rates similar to Santa Clara County’s, are seeing high numbers of omicron cases.

‘A deluge of omicron’ is coming, Santa Clara County’s health officer warns