Travel restrictions can delay the spread of a virus by only a few days, studies show. Now, 40 countries have identified cases of the omicron variant, including — Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia and more, per Forbes.
According to The New York Times Omicron tracker, the variant, discovered by South African researchers during the Thanksgiving holiday break, has also spread to 19 states in the U.S. as of Sunday. The first case was detected in California on Dec. 1. A few days later, the first case was discovered in Utah, per the Deseret News.
States the variant has been detected in
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “we know we have several dozen cases and we’re following them closely. And we are every day hearing about more and more probable cases so that number is likely to rise,” per ABC News.
- The transmissibility of the virus and the effectiveness of the vaccine are still unclear, she added.
- “I do think that getting a lot of immunity right now will be critically important, masking up right now,” Walensky said. “Doing all of those things will help prevent a more aggressive Omicron surge.”