Malheur County watchful but plans steady course as omicron spreads in U.S.

People line up for vaccination during an event at Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario on Dec. 3, 2021. (Enterprise file)

The coronavirus had seemed to simmer down in Malheur County in recent weeks, so much so that future meetings of the county’s Covid task force recently were canceled.

And then came omicron.

State officials announced last Friday that the new variant of Covid appears to spread quickly and that once it hits Oregon, hospitals are likely to be overwhelmed by a surge in cases. Research into how severely ill people become if infected with the omicron variant remains unclear, but state health officials are taking no chances.

They set an ambitious goal to have 1 million Oregonians get a booster shot by the end of January. The extra shot on top of the regular vaccine . . .