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Getting Answers: Can You Get Reinfected With The COVID-19 Omicron Variant?

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Nearly 1,700 people spent their MLK day in Sacramento standing in line for a COVID-19 test. Many of those people who waited in line voiced a whole lot of confusion.

Can you get reinfected with omicron? And is the variant on the rise, or is it going down?

Incredibly long lines formed at the Liberty Towers church in Sacramento on Monday.

"Today's been about a three-hour wait," mom Patty Mahon said Monday.

This mom came to make sure her kids were safe to travel.

Site leader Megan Burgess says that by days end, they'll administer 1,600-1,700 COVID-19 tests and hear almost as many questions.

"I think there's a lot of confusion still about quarantine, and being reinfected, and being vaccinated and still testing positive," Burgess said.

We asked the Yolo County Public Health Department if you can get the COVID-19 omicron variant more than once?

"It's definitely possible to get reinfected," county spokesperson John Fout said. "Even in people who've been vaccinated and boosted."

Another area of confusion was whether or not there is such thing as a 90-day safe zone. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, if you're exposed to COVID-19 but have tested positive in the past 90 days, you don't need to isolate.

The Yolo County Public Health Department says to follow the guidelines, but don't assume it means you're immune for 90 days.

"Reinfections are possible within 90 days, particularly for those people who had delta," Fout said.

Finally, recent state data appears to show COVID-19 cases on the decline. Here are the latest numbers on the Calfornia state dashboard.

  • January 10: just over 109,000 new cases
  • January 15: the latest available data shows just over 3,300 new cases

That's a steep drop over five days — but are omicron cases really on the decline in California?

"I don't think it tells the entire story yet," Fout said. "If you take a look at the state data over the last few days, it does appear to be coming down slightly. But the state notes that it may be incomplete and there also may be a lag, so we're not 100% sure."

Yolo County says it's possible it's passed its peak, but it'll take a few weeks of data to know for sure.

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