The City of Long Beach confirmed its first case of the Omicron sub-variant BA.2 on Friday, Jan. 28, and urges eligible city residents to get vaccinated and boosted in order to reduce the spread.
Long Beach health officials released a statement that there was an indication of the sub-variant spreading “more easily than the original Omicron variant, but right now [BA.2] does not appear to cause more severe illness.”
While the impact of the new variant remains unknown, there is some evidence that the new variant may spread just as quickly as Omicron, and “has been found in 49 countries including the United States,” according to the press release.
In order to reduce the spread of BA.2, Long Beach health officials highly recommend local residents follow health protocols such as wearing a mask, getting vaccinated and boosted, and testing for COVID-19 when symptoms arise.
Lauren Williams, CSULB Senior Communications Counsel, said the university is taking necessary COVID-19 health precautions to keep the Beach community safe.
“While we remain in close contact with public health officials, we have also taken a number of measures to ensure the safety of our campus community including requiring full vaccination of students and employees,” Williams said.
Williams also said the university has “enhanced cleaning protocols, require face coverings while indoors” as well as “enhanced ventilations on campus” to adhere to COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
The CSULB administration stated in a press release that students who are attending in-person classes are required to get their booster vaccine by Feb. 28 or “six months after receiving their final dose of the original vaccination.”
For those who still need to get their COVID-19 vaccine, including the booster shot, the Student Health Center (SHS) offers Pfizer-BioNTech from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, according to the CSULB Vaccine Clinic website.
However, the On-Campus City of Long Beach Clinic offers Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays and Wednesdays near the University Bookstore.
Bri Proud, a fourth-year design major, commutes to campus and said virtual classes worked out really well for them. Now that classes are back in-person, the focus is better for them due to engaging with fellow classmates.
Due to the recent in-person return, Proud also added they were concerned with the COVID-19 safety protocols, but acknowledged the university doing their best to keep the beach safe.
“I do have concerns regarding safety,” Proud said. “Although, I do see the university taking steps to keep everyone safe such as ensuring students have their booster shots if they’re returning to campus, and putting notices [around] [campus] for [everyone] to keep their masks [on].”