RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — While we’re all getting frustrated with the COVID-19 pandemic, health care workers are pleading with people not to let down their guard. They say precautions are more important now than ever.

Johnston Health’s chief medical officer Rodney McCaskill summed up the situation.

“Everybody’s tired of this,” he said. “The best thing you can do is just be safe, and that means get vaccinated. I can’t say that enough.”

With the ultra-contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 taking over, health care workers say even vaccinated people must continue to be careful.

“You can’t just assume that because you’re vaccinated you can go back to the life you were living in 2019,” said WakeMed infection prevention specialist Jessica Dixon. “You still need to wear masks you still need to think about where you go and whom you’re around.”

“It doesn’t mean lock yourself in your house, but definitely take precautions when you’re out among people,” Dixon added. “This is a very risky time. There’s more COVID out here now than there has ever been.”

While health care workers say vaccines and boosters are preventing most cases of severe disease and death, they aren’t necessarily preventing infection with the omicron variant.

“The numbers that I’m seeing every day when I open up my list of positive tests, it’s horrifying,” said Dixon.

Friday, North Carolina’s positivity rate was above 31 percent.

Doctors say the high positivity rate means people should assume there is someone with COVID-19 just about everywhere they go, and make sure to wear a mask.