NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- As we move into the holiday season, a time we thought the COVID-19 pandemic might be easing, it's actually a more confusing time.
CBS2's Dr. Max Gomez has some answers.
- New York State book online here or call 1-833-NYS-4-VAX
- New York City book online here or call 877-VAX-4NYC
- Track NYC vaccinations by zip code
- Nassau County more info here
- Suffolk County more info here
- Westchester County more info here
- New Jersey book online here or call 1-855-568-0545
- Connecticut book online here
At top of many people's minds is COVID testing before going off to their friends' and family gatherings, especially because many test are in short supply.
FIND TESTING SITES: Click here for New York City's testing site locator, including mobile sites and at-home appointments
One common question is, "If I can't get a PCR test, which is the most accurate but may now take days to get results, should I get a couple of different home drug store tests to compare results?"
That's your best option right now, but realize that even though the home tests are pretty good, they do have a greater possibility of returning either a false negative or false positive result.
AVOID THE LINES: Click here for NYC Health+Hospitals testing wait times
Try to get tests using different technology, and follow instructions carefully. Try to test as close to your gathering as possible, and if you're positive follow Centers for Disease Control guidelines for isolating or quarantining.
- Complete COVID Vaccine Coverage
- Vaccination Sites In New York City | Call 877-VAX-4NYC
- Track NYC Vaccinations By Zip Code
- Find NYC Testing Site Near You
- Check NYC Testing Wait Times
- CDC'S COVID Vaccine FAQ
- CDC's COVID Tracking Map By County
- Resources: Help With Unemployment, Hunger, Mental Health & More
- Remote Learning Tools For Students And Parents At Home
But some new studies from Europe and South Africa suggest that COVID from the Omicron variant is relatively mild, so, if it's mild, many have asked, "Should I worry about catching it?"
Mild or not, there's still the risk of developing so-called "long COVID," persistent symptoms for months or longer. And some cases could still be serious, so it's a chance you shouldn't take.
And finally, another common question is, "If the Omicron strain is mild, why should I get vaccinated?"
While it's not entirely clear, it's likely that mild Omicron cases were in vaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated people might still develop serious disease. Vaccines have been shown to provide the strongest immunity against Omicron and Delta variants.
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