San Antonio: Metro Health Provides Winter Holiday Recommendations
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CONTACT: covid19media@sanantonio.gov
Rudy Arispe, (210) 207-8172

SAN ANTONIO (December 22, 2021) - As the community prepares to celebrate the winter holidays, Metro Health is providing a COVID-19 update as a precaution to remind individuals to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the coronavirus, which continues to circulate in our community.

With the Omicron variant now detected in Bexar County, Metro Health recommends that if you have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccination, please get vaccinated as soon as possible.

If you are eligible, get a COVID booster to help protect you from the different variants, as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Now that the winter season has officially arrived, we want residents to be protected from COVID-19 as well as the flu," Metro Health Director Claude A. Jacob said. "As the weather gets colder and we remain indoors more often, getting vaccinated is important. Let's take care of our loved ones and continue to follow the guidelines so we can remain healthy this holiday season. If you feel sick, please stay home. We are hosting several pop-up clinics this week where you can get a COVID vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time."

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Currently, the positivity rate is 2.2% and the risk level is mild and steady. The case rate is 13.0 per 100,000 population.

Also, 86% of individuals, ages 5 and older, have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, while 71.2% of the population, ages 5 and older, are fully vaccinated.

With holiday revelers expected to attend holiday and New Year's Eve parties where there will be large gatherings, Metro Health recommends everyone wear masks regardless of your vaccination status.
Also, wherever possible, try to social distance. And if you are feeling ill, stay home and get tested.

Click here for more information about staying safe during the winter holidays.

Metro Health also wants to emphasize the importance of getting tested under the following circumstances:
  • Before attending large gatherings or visiting grandparents
  • About five days after an exposure to a person who tested positive for COVID-19
  • As soon as you develop COVID-19 symptoms.

Types of tests and testing locations:
  • No cost community testing sites are listed at covid19.sanantonio.gov. Most require an appointment. Results take one to three days. However, same-day PCR is available at Curative American Legion and Pittman-Sullivan sites. These are the "gold standard" PCR tests, and you'll get an email/text of the result. Expect longer wait times in January due to higher demand.
  • Home tests sold for $20-$25 in drugstores and grocery stores. Availability varies. Results in 10-15 minutes although there is some chance of user error. Each kit includes two swabs to be used by the same person twice over three days at least 24 hours apart. These rapid antigen tests are less accurate than PCR, but repeat testing helps.
  • Home tests sold online: Cost varies, often more than $100. Can be PCR or antigen. The more expensive ones require downloading an app and/or having a telehealth visit. These provide email/text confirmation of your result.
  • Tests at clinics and urgent care centers listed at covid19.sanantonio.gov. Many accept walk-ins. Cost varies. They can be PCR or rapid antigen. Documentation of result is provided.

Metro Health continues to offer a $100 H-E-B gift card incentive at Metro Health clinics only to encourage individuals to become fully vaccinated. To date, 5,086 gift cards have been distributed.

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Metro Health's Alamodome Drive-Thru Clinic is open from noon to 8:00 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays. However, the drive-thru clinic hours are noon to 4:00 p.m. Thursday, December 23 and closed Friday, December 24.

For a list of vaccine pop-up clinics and testing locations, visit covid19.sanantonio.gov or call 311 and select option 8.

Filed Under: Government, City

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