THE NEW YORK TIMES – Governors across the United States tried to reassure Americans on Sunday that their administrations were closely monitoring the impact of a new coronavirus variant that has alarmed scientists.
Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut issued a statement on Sunday reminding his constituents to remain vigilant even though the new variant, known as Omicron, had yet to be detected in the United States.
“Given the number of countries where Omicron has already been detected, it may already be present in the U.S.,” he said in the statement.
Other state leaders took the same tone, urging caution as well as highlighting the measures they had already put in place earlier in the pandemic.
Mr. Lamont pointed to the network of labs sequencing genomes in his state and reminded residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces.
Next door in New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency on Friday.
Under her executive order, all state agencies are authorized “to take appropriate action to assist local governments and individuals” in containing and responding to the coronavirus.
Although the measures are a far cry from early pandemic rules, they were the nation’s first attempt to accelerate preparation for the arrival of the Omicron variant.
“We continue to see warning signs of spikes this upcoming winter, and while the new Omicron variant has yet to be detected in New York State, it’s coming,” Ms. Hochul said in a release.
Gov. Gavin Newsom of California said on Twitter on Sunday that the state was monitoring the new variant. He did not announce any new measures but said that the coronavirus vaccine and booster shot were essential.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health echoed that message and said in a statement, “More studies are needed … ” READ MORE | subscription may be required.
Travelers in Orlando worried about new Omicron variant
WKMG ClickOrlando – As travelers are returning home after enjoying time with family, we ran into Vickie Jordan from St. Louis, Missouri at Orlando International Airport.
“We’ve been here since the 19th,” said Jordan.
She told us she’s now a bit concerned about flying after White House leaders announced travel restrictions beginning Monday from eight countries in Southern Africa after concerns of a new COVID-19 variant in the area called Omicron.
“Because I have health issues and it just makes me a little nervous,” said Jordan.
A similar story for Tanya Elnajami who said she travels internationally pretty often.
“I would just want to protect those who are at higher risk,” said Elnajami.
Health experts said at this early stage, Omicron brings many unknowns … READ MORE.