Cameron County releases emergency health advisory due to Omicron variant

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CAMERON COUNTY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Cameron County officials are warning residents to continue with precautions and vaccinate amidst a shortage of monoclonal antibody treatments.

On Dec. 27, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) released a statement that several regional infusion centers throughout Texas have exhausted their supply of Sotrovimab. Sotrovimab is currently the only monoclonal antibody treatment effective against the Omicron variant, according to a release by Cameron County Judge Eddie Treviño Jr.

“We ask that this New Year’s everyone remain healthy and avoid unnecessary congregations that place people at risk of possible exposure to this highly contagious airborne virus,” the release stated.

Dr. James Castillo, Health Authority for Cameron County, warned that Omicron’s high level of contagiousness could cause a rapid increase in new cases.

“Once Omicron, the new variant, gets there, it spreads very fast,” said Dr. Castillo. “It’s much more contagious. It spreads much quicker than even Delta did. It can double every two or three days the number of cases. We really expect the number of cases, unfortunately, to be very much higher right around New Year’s.”

According to Castillo, the chances of being exposed to Omicron while attending a large gathering are high.

“If you’re going to attend a crowded indoor party, in the setting we’re in right now, you can pretty much count on being exposed to Omicron,” said Dr. Castillo.

DSHS announced that the Omicron variant now accounts for more than 90% of the new cases in the state.

COVID-19 testing will be available from Tuesday, Dec. 28 through Thursday Dec. 30 at the following locations:

  • Precinct 1: 2050 S. Browne Avenue, Brownsville. 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
  • Precinct 4: 26623 White Ranch Road, Le Feria. 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

“The only thing we can do about it is tell people be careful, it’s much more contagious. Definitely get boosted if you’re eligible and if you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please do,” said Dr. Castillo.

COVID-19 vaccines will remain available at all four Cameron County Public Health Clinics, according to the release. Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be available.

For more information, contact the Cameron County Coronavirus hotline at (956) 247 – 3650.

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