The new year seems poised to bring on continued struggles with COVID-19 and its many variants. In response to renewed concerns about the many mutations of this illness, Dr. Pedram Salimpour and Dr. Pejman Salimpour are working to clarify the issues surrounding vaccines, COVID variants, and how to move forward in the healthiest and safest way possible.
Dr. Pejman Salimpour explains, “In talking to employers, employees, and patients, we’ve discovered there is a common thread of concern surrounding the latest wave of COVID infections and what people can expect from the new Omicron variant. Unfortunately, we don’t yet know a lot about the Omicron variant, but it does seem to be highly contagious, which is cause for concern.”
Dr. Pejman Salimpour continues: “Much like the flu virus, the COVID-19 has evolved and will continue to do so. This is why flu vaccines are constantly changing. This is to address the variants of the illness. It’s also why individuals are more susceptible to the Omicron variant even if they’ve already had the COVID-19 vaccine. In New York City and the U.K., particularly London, Omicron has spread at an alarming rate. And we continue to see a rapid rise in positivity rates across the United States with both Omicron and Delta. We anticipate the numbers to rise much faster in the next two weeks. There is the potential for major impact on businesses across the U.S. as employees become lax about social distancing and other precautions due to a false sense of security based on being vaccinated.”
Dr. Pedram Salimpour’s Guidelines for Businesses
Dr. Pedram Salimpour, a co-founder of various health care–focused businesses, including Plymouth Health, outlined guidelines for employers and employees that may help stop the spread of COVID-19. In a written statement, he suggested following stringent protocols for businesses of all sizes, including:
- Routine symptom monitoring at work for the next few weeks. The only way to keep infected employees from infecting others is to keep them out of work. Because the early symptoms of COVID are often the same as those of the common cold (runny nose, congestion, sore throat, or headache), vigilance is required, especially with this strain, we need to be extra cognizant of any sore throat.
- Routine surveillance PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of staff in mission-critical areas of businesses should start immediately. This has been proven to keep businesses operational during the pandemic.
- Discourage large indoor gatherings or meetings at work.
- Encourage employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible (after consulting with their doctor).
- Evaluate ventilation systems and proper medical-grade air filters at the workplace, because the COVID virus is aerosolized.
- Encourage masks at your business, particularly in mission-critical areas.
- Test any employees with symptoms for an early diagnosis of COVID-19 so that you can offer early treatment. Consistent testing can decrease morbidity, hospitalizations, mortality, heartache, and significant time off.
Continuing Concerns for Employers
Dr. Pejman Salimpour went a little further.. He stated that they anticipate COVID-19 numbers, particularly for the Delta and Omicron strains, to rise rapidly in the next few weeks. He explained that the Omicron variant might be up to eight times more contagious than Delta.
“We continue to be concerned about workplace health for both businesses and employees in the coming weeks, as cases of the Omicron variant are now doubling every 1.5 days. Although the booster does offer some protection, some people who have gotten vaccinated are also catching the virus and its variants. With the booster, individuals are less likely to contract COVID. They will generally have a less severe case if they do catch it.”
Dr. Pejman Salimpour added: “Due to rising concerns in workplaces, PCR tests and lab capacity are becoming a problem in many parts of the United States. There are technician shortages due to illness and test kit shortages in some areas. We’re concerned that hospitals, particularly in light of nursing and staff shortages, may soon run out of beds for patients.”
The statistics on COVID-19 are sobering. Over 1,200 Americans are dying from COVID-10 each day.
Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Pejman Salimpour, MD
Pedram Salimpour, MD
Dr. Pedram Salimpour has co-authored multiple grant awards from the National Institutes of Health and has been published in dozens of peer-reviewed scientific journals. He serves as a member of the Dean’s Board of Advisors at Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Pedram Salimpour attended Boston University School of Medicine and received his Masters in Public Health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
Dr. Pejman Salimpour is the co-founder of CareNex Health Services as well as several other healthcare entities on a national scale. He is a Clinical Professor at UCLA School of Medicine and was a Presidential appointee to the United States Small Business Administration.