- The CDC says no cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant have been detected in the United States yet.
- Dr. Anthony Fauci predicted the newly detected variant “invariably is going to go all over.”
- The WHO has labeled the new coronavirus variant, Omicron, a “variant of concern.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Saturday that there have not been any cases of the Omicron variant detected in the United States yet.
“No cases of this variant have been identified in the U.S. to date,” a CDC statement read on Friday.
“CDC is continuously monitoring variants and the U.S. variant surveillance system has reliably detected new variants in this country. We expect Omicron to be identified quickly, if it emerges in the U.S.,” the agency added.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said it’s only a matter of time before the variant is detected in the United States.
“When you have a virus that’s showing this degree of transmissibility & you’re having travel-related cases … it almost invariably is going to go all over,” Fauci told NBC, according to a tweet from CNN’s Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins.
—Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) November 27, 2021
In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul has already declared a state of emergency in response to the Omicron variant. The executive order allows non-essential procedures to be postponed so hospitals have more beds for potential COVID patients.
Two cases of the variant have been found in the UK, leading the government to roll out “additional targeted testing,” Insider’s Connor Perrett reported. The variant has also been detected in Israel, Botswana, Hong Kong, and Belgium.
Omicron contains several worrisome mutations found in other variants of concern — including Delta and Alpha — that could help it spread, render vaccines less effective, or lead to more severe disease, Insider’s Aria Bendix reported.