It will take about 14 days for definitive data on Omicron variant

CJ Coombs

Dr. Anthony Fauci, a top U.S. infectious disease official, said it's going to take about two weeks to gather more concrete information about Omicron, a new variant of coronavirus. This had generated some stir on travel restrictions and the financial markets.

Fauci said he believes existing vaccines are likely to provide "a degree of protection against severe cases of COVID", and officials reiterated their recommendation for vaccinated Americans to get booster shots, according to a readout of the briefing.

The new variant showed up in South Africa first. Omicron has also been confirmed in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands,  France, South Africa, and Canada.

According to Dr. Fauci, the new variant will at some point reach the United States. The behavior of Omicron indicates that it spreads rapidly.

U.S. officials were seeking more information from South Africa about the new variant. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra spoke to South Africa Health Minister Joe Phaahla on Sunday, praising the country's transparency, according to a readout of the meeting.

The United States has more deaths from COVID-19 than any other country (782,000 people) according to Reuters data. The United States is wanting to impose travel restrictions to promote transmission of the new variant.

Beginning at 12:01 a.m. ET (0501 GMT) on Monday, it will bar entry of nearly all foreign nationals who have been in any of eight southern African countries within the last 14 days and has warned Americans against traveling to those nations.
U.S. citizens and lawful U.S. permanent residents who have traveled to the countries will still be able to enter the United States and no new screening or tracing requirements have been introduced.

Before statements can be made with confidence that the severity of this new variant can be measured, more data needs to be studied which is hoped to be learned in the next two weeks.

Dr. Fauci continues to encourage Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccines and the boosters while all the experts continue to study Omicron.

The United States has recorded over 1.1 million new COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days, up 9% from the prior two weeks, Reuters data shows, with Michigan and Minnesota leading the nation in new cases, based on infections per 100,000 residents.

There were 61 travelers from South Africa arriving in Amsterdam testing positive for the new strain. After their arrival, a travel ban was initiated by the Dutch health officials on the weekend. Of the 61 passengers testing positive, only a few indicated mild symptoms and they're expected to quarantine for seven days.


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Hello! I have 30 years of experience in the legal field, and a BA in Eng Journalism & Creative Writing. I am an incessant thinker, giver, and lover of life. Born into the service life of the Air Force in Louisiana, life has taken me to Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, and ultimately to Missouri, I don't have that true concept of "home," but believe every living experience is tied to language. I love my family, art, true crime, non-fiction, reading, travel, and red pinot.

Kansas City, MO

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