Omicron Variant Identified in at Least 16 States

In less than a week, the Omicron variant has been identified in at least 16 states. Scientists are still working to determine the severity and transmissibility of Omicron, but that’s a process that could take weeks. For now, the Delta variant continues to show up in 99.9% of Coronavirus cases. News of Omicron’s rapid spread is even more alarming for experts when coupled with new data showing the U.S. is averaging more than 100,000 new Covid-19 cases each day. The number of related deaths is also increasing, with a seven-day average of over 1,650 people dying daily, according to Johns Hopkins University. These are the largest numbers we’ve seen since October and they are predicted to get worse as more people travel for the upcoming holidays. In anticipation, airlines are being forced to implement stricter regulations starting today for international travelers. This includes proof of vaccinations and negative Covid-19 tests within one day of departure. The CDC has confirmed just under 60% of the total U.S. population is fully vaccinated and nearly 23% have received a booster shot.