CDC releases statement on new COVID-19 variant Omicron, giving status of transmission in U.S.


(WFRV) – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials are keeping an eye out for the newly classified COVID-19 variant, Omicron, but say it has not reached the U.S. yet.

According to a release, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the new variant, also known as B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern on Nov. 26.

CDC health officials say the new variant was first reported to the WHO by South Africa, and CDC staff plan to follow all details pertaining to the variant. So far, they report no cases of Omicron have been identified in the U.S.

They say health officials are grateful to the South African government and its scientists who have openly communicated with the global scientific community and continue to share information about this variant with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and CDC.

We are working with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more about this variant, as we continue to monitor its path.

CDC release

Health officials with the CDC say they expect Omicron to be identified quickly – if it shows up in the U.S.

They continue recommending the following:

  • Follow prevention strategies
    • Wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission.
    • Washing hands frequently.
    • Physically distancing from others.
  • Everyone 5 years and older to get fully vaccinated.
  • For those who are eligible, get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose.

Travelers to the U.S. are urged to continue following CDC recommendations for traveling

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