We try not to bring you too much COVID news, but the Omicron variant has proven to be cause for concern.
The B.1.1.529 variant was first detected in South Africa but cases have so far been confirmed in Botswana, Belgium, Israel, Hong Kong and now the United Kingdom, after two cases were confirmed there.
The COVID-19 variant has not yet been detected in the US, but Dr. Fauci has warned it may already be here.
Fauci told NBC Saturday.
“I would not be surprised if it is, we have not detected it yet, but when you have a virus that is showing this degree of transmissibility and you’re having travel-related cases they’ve noted in other places already, when you have a virus like this, it almost invariably is going to go all over,”
“The issue of blocking travel from a given country is to just give us time to assess it better. That’s the reason for doing that. Not any reason to panic, but we want to give it some time to really fill in the blanks of what we don’t know right now,”
The emergence of the new variant has caused Biden to restrict travel to and from South Africa.
New York has been placed into a state of emergency over the Omicron threat, and New Yorkers have been warned ‘it’s coming’.
New York governor Kathy Hochul announced:
“We continue to see warning signs of spikes in Covid this winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York state, it’s coming.
“Today I signed an executive order to help boost hospital capacity ahead of potential spikes. Through this action, we will also be able to acquire critical supplies more quickly to combat the pandemic.
“I urge New Yorkers to take advantage of our greatest weapon in the pandemic: the vaccine. Get vaccinated and get the booster as soon as you are able.”
The executive order lasts until at least 15 January.