Weekly News From Los Alamos County
Inside this newsletter you will find...
Message from Pediatrician Michael Nichols, Q&A, COVID-19 Data, New SARS - COV2 - Varient, Vaccine/Booster Information, and Testing Information.
*New* COVID-19 Newsletter to the Community launched...
Los Alamos County has moved from the response phase of the pandemic into the long-term maintenance phase. As a result, officials with the County acknowledge that day-to-day communications to the community on testing, cases, and vaccinations have tapered off. In an effort to keep the public informed, County staff has developed this newsletter to provide resources with current data specific to Los Alamos.

Please let us know if this newsletter is helpful and what information you would like to see. Send an email with feedback and ideas for future newsletters at [email protected]

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Vaccinations for children 5 - 11 yrs





Why should I vaccinate my child?

- A message from Pediatrician
Michael W. Nichols, M.D., FAAP
On March 13th of 2020, Governor Lujan Grisham announced that New Mexico schools would be closed for three weeks to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. At that time, few would have predicted that almost twenty months later, our children’s lives and education would continue to be affected so drastically. 

COVID-19 has robbed our children of many important experiences, like graduation, playing sports, and being able to go to school in person for an entire year. Even now, with safe, effective COVID-19 vaccination available to everyone five years of age and older, our students continue to not experience the same opportunities and freedom to learn and interact with their peers. I look forward to a day when our children can attend school without the necessity of wearing masks and can return to all extracurricular activities and travel without risk to themselves, their families, their friends, and their community. 

The best way to accomplish this goal for our children is to get them vaccinated NOW. There is no COVID vaccine shortage for any eligible age group in New Mexico and COVID vaccine clinics are readily available through physician offices, vaccine clinics, and local pharmacies. If your child is five years of age or older I strongly encourage you to vaccinate your child or adolescent now. 

If you are not yet vaccinated for COVID or received your second dose of COVID vaccine more than six months ago, I encourage adults to receive a vaccine dose now. It is a misperception that this vaccine is ‘dangerous’ compared to other childhood vaccines and if you choose to believe that becoming infected with COVID is safer than the minuscule risk of receiving this vaccine, you are deceiving yourself or a victim of misinformation. Don’t allow our children’s lives to remain disrupted. Please vaccinate your children now!
Michael W. Nichols, M.D., FAAP

How to register your child for the vaccine:
New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) has made it easy for parents to register and schedule vaccine appointments for dependent children.

Visit the website https://vaccinenm.org/kids 
Your Questions ...
QUESTION:
With Los Alamos' high vaccination rates, do we still need to wear facemasks?

ANSWER:
As we get the community vaccinated, individuals tend to let their guard down. We all have to remember the COVID-19 vaccine is not a cure-all, it is a mechanism used to try and combat the severity of COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalizations, and death.
Let’s think about this virus in terms of Swiss Cheese. The more you expose yourself, even after you are vaccinated. The more holes you poke in your cheese, expose you to the COVID-19 virus. With all the variants, we cannot allow ourselves to let our guard down even if we are vaccinated.

Additionally, facemasks are required for all individuals when indoors per the New Mexico Public Health Order and Atomic City Transit requires facemasks for all passengers and drivers in accordance with a federal mandate.
Have a question? Email us.
Frequently Asked Questions

NMDOH has an easy-to-use FAQs site for your reference. Find answers to questions like "What are the symptoms of COVID-19?" or "What is the difference between COVID-19 and Influenza (flu)?". Click HERE for those answers and more.
COVID-19 Data Resources
What does the data mean and how should I respond?
The data shows us that transmission and risk increase this time of year. Colder temperatures, holiday gatherings, and increased travel are big factors in this increase. NMDOH recommends individuals follow these tips this holiday season, and take extra precautions to keep yourself and your family safe:

- Wash hands, clean surfaces
- Mask up & practice social distancing
- Get needed preventive healthcare
- Get vaccinated!⠀⠀
Schedule your vaccine at:⠀
CDC COVID Data Tracker
To get a break down of positive case data for Los Alamos County or other counties across the United States, click HERE
Los Alamos County Health Council Dashboard
Excellent resource on cases, recovery, ICU visits, deaths and vaccination for Los Alamos County click HERE
NMDOH Epidemiology
To see additional, in depth epidemiology reports as of November 29, 2021, click HERE

LAC Emergency Manager's Report to Council click HERE
The above infographic is from the Johns Hopkins University website, 2021, December. 6.
Los Alamos Public Schools COVID-19 Positive Reported Case Count

Cases Reported between
Dec. 6-12, 2021 Total: 2
To learn more about reported COVID-19 cases in the individual LAPS schools, click HERE.

COVID-19 VACCINATIONS:
Los Alamos County

Percent Fully Vaccinated based on
TOTAL POPULATION of 19,419
Source: New Mexico Dept. of Health
as of December 4, 2021
New SARS-CoV-2 Variant of Concern Identified: Omicron (B.1.1.529) Variant
(Below are excerpts taken directly from the CDC HAN issued December 1, 2021)
Omicron, a new SARS-CoV-2 variant, has been identified in many countries and categorized as a Variant of Concern by the U.S. government and the World Health Organization (WHO). Because little is known about Omicron currently, it is important for the public health and medical communities as well as the general public to remain vigilant to reduce potential exposure.

Recommendations for the Public - Mitigation
Layered prevention strategies should be used to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, including variants such as Delta and Omicron. These strategies include vaccination, masking, improving ventilation, distancing, handwashing, and testing to slow SARS-CoV-2 transmission. CDC recommends that everyone ages 2 years or older wear masks in public indoor places in areas of substantial or high transmission. Unvaccinated people should wear masks regardless of community transmission level. Masks are required in indoor areas of public transportation conveyances and U.S. transportation hubs independent of vaccination status. Persons who have a close contact with someone who has COVID-19 should get tested 5-7 days after exposure (even if they are asymptomatic) and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative. Persons who develop symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested and stay home until their test result is negative; persons who have a positive test result should isolate at home for 10 days.

Recommendations for the Public - Vaccination
Vaccination remains vital to COVID-19 pandemic control. The COVID-19 vaccines approved or authorized in the United States are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death from the Delta variant, which is currently the dominant variant circulating in the U.S. CDC recommends that everyone ages 5 and older should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. In addition, CDC recommends all persons age 18 years and older receive a booster dose at the recommended interval. CDC will provide updates as soon as more information is available about vaccine effectiveness against the Omicron variant.
Vaccine/Booster Info for Los Alamos County
Pfizer Vaccine Clinic Sunday, Dec. 12

Los Alamos County, New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) and Trinity Urgent Care are holding a clinic to administer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, either a first, second or booster dose for individuals 18 years or older. The clinic will be at the Los Alamos High School, Auxiliary Gym on Sunday, Dec. 12 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Appointments preferred, but walk-ins will be accepted provided there is sufficient vaccine supply.

To schedule an appointment visit the NMDOH at https://vaccinenm.org/, and use special event code: APYNVUN.
 
The COVID-19 vaccination is at no cost to the individual and does not require insurance nor a Social Security number to receive the vaccine. Appointment holders for the clinic are reminded:
  • Print and bring a completed, signed Trinity Urgent Care Consent form,
  • Bring your COVID-19 Vaccine Card if you have received a dose prior to this clinic
  • Complete the online NMDOH medical questionnaire the morning of the clinic
  • Bring your medical insurance or Medicare, if applicable, but not required.
  • Arrive within 10 to 15 minutes of the appointment time
  • Wear a facemask
Los Alamos County Vaccine Resources
Visit the County COVID Page for information regarding testing, click below:
Testing Resources for Los Alamos County
Los Alamos County Testing Resources
Visit the County COVID Page for information regarding testing, click below:
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