Variant of Concern: still limited information of the Omicron variant

Rep. Jonathan Carroll says able-bodied people who choose to remain unvaccinated have put...
Rep. Jonathan Carroll says able-bodied people who choose to remain unvaccinated have put Illinois at risk.(CNN)
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 4:14 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Last week the World Health Organization named Omicron as a Variant of Concern, and limited information makes it unclear how it’s impacting people.

“I don’t think any community in the country can say they don’t have Omicron variant yet because we just don’t know. We don’t sequence every version of Covid that comes around,” said Dr. Cameron Webb, Sr. Advisor to the COVID Task Force.

To stay ahead of the issue, President Joe Biden announced new actions to protect Americans.

The 9-part plan includes stronger public health protocols for International travel, continuing the effort of getting kids ages 5 and older vaccinated, and encouraging adults to get their vaccine boosters.

“A booster what it does is it really increases your antibody levels way above where they even were with the second shot,” said Webb.

Webb adds that around this time of the year, when people are traveling or spending more time indoors, having the strongest possible antibodies will help anyone who comes in contact with the virus.

“I think what we know is that as people travel between communities, the likelihood of it spreading increasing especially if it spreads as fast as some of us are concerned that it could,” said Webb.

Although only a handful of Omicron cases have been confirmed in the United States, Webb said you should conduct yourself as if the Omicron variant is already in your community.

“You know, wear masks when you’re in public spaces, make sure that you are vaccinated and boosted, and that you’re getting your kids vaccinated to make sure that you, your family, and your community have the highest level of immunologic protection possible. Similarly, if you’re feeling sick, get tested or, you know, stay home. Try not to go out into spaces until you’re able to get tested. Those are things that are going to be really important for communities and they can start doing those things right now,” said Webb.

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