New COVID-19 variant Omicron makes its way through U.S.


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High-resolution photo of the coronavirus. The COVID-19 Omicron variant, the newest variant of the virus, is quickly spreading.

Many people all over the world have been fearing the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron as there have been many cases reported all over the world. 

Originating in South Africa, the Omicron variant quickly spread to many countries all over the world. It is very similar to the other well-known COVID-19 strand called the Delta variant. Many countries that reported Omicron cases include France, Belgium, Germany, the U.K, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, and etc. More countries are reporting more cases of Omicron daily. 

California was the first state to confirm an Omicron case. The man who has it is fully vaccinated and was traveling from South Africa to San Francisco. The second case was reported about a man in Minnesota. He was in New York City for a convention from Nov. 19-21. He is also fully vaccinated.

Since then there have been many more Omicron cases being reported. The Omicron case has officially made it to Pennsylvania. 

President Biden has tightened travel rules because of the new variant. He is still encouraging Americans to get vaccinated. He also announced that international travelers who are traveling to the U.S., including Americans, must take a COVID-19  test a day prior to traveling even if vaccinated. Omicron cases are most popular in big cities right now so it is best to avoid those places if possible.

So far most cases reported have been mild and have been described as flu symptoms. From what scientists know so far, the main strand of COVID-19 and all of the symptoms are very similar. There isn’t enough information yet about its effects and symptoms, but if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms, talk to your doctor about it and get tested.  It usually takes 2-14 days to show symptoms after being exposed to the virus.

Currently, mask requirements will continue until mid-March 2022. COVID-19 cases are expected to rise during the winter so it is encouraged to get vaccinated or get the booster shot.