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KCBX News Update: SLO Police Department urges safe driving this holiday season, and UC doctor discusses Omicron variant

SLO Police Department urges safe driving ahead of holiday season 

The San Luis Obispo Police Department is urging people to drive safely this holiday season and to not drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

The department said in a press release it will have additional officers on the road this December to look out for impaired drivers.

The holiday season usually brings an uptick in deaths from drunk-driving incidents, so the department encourages everyone to plan for holiday parties by having a sober driver.

The department also said that “prescription medications, over-the-counter drugs and marijuana can also impair, especially in combination with alcohol and other drugs.”

University of California doctor discusses Omicron variant 

News of the Omicron COVID variant is dominating the news cycle, though it still hasn’t been confirmed to be in the U.S.

Meanwhile, infectious disease experts are rapidly trying to learn more about it.

A number of countries have banned incoming flights, mostly from southern Africa.

Doctor Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at UC Davis Health, said that travel bans probably won’t make much difference in California.

“Originally, we were worried about it from India and we thought travel was the main risk factor. But, there’s so much travel these days, we’re so interconnected with the rest of the world, that one case anywhere, results in risk everywhere,” Blumberg said.

Blumberg says because of this, the Omicron variant is almost certainly in the U.S. and if it’s more contagious than the Delta variant, it will become the dominant strain eventually.

However, San Luis Obispo County — along with the rest of the state and the country — has not had any confirmed cases of the Omicron variant.

This story came to us from CapRadio News.

Benjamin Purper was News Director of KCBX from May of 2021 to September of 2023. He came from California’s Inland Empire, where he spent three years as a reporter and Morning Edition host at KVCR in San Bernardino. Dozens of his stories have aired on KQED’s California Report, and his work has broadcast on NPR's news magazines, as well. In addition to radio, Ben has worked as a newspaper reporter and freelance writer.
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