The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that anyone — regardless of vaccination status — can likely spread the omicron variant of the coronavirus to other people.
- “The Omicron variant likely will spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and how easily Omicron spreads compared to Delta remains unknown,” according to the CDC. “CDC expects that anyone with Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.”
This underlines the importance of COVID-19 tests, as they remain the one way to determine if you are infected with the coronavirus and might be spreading it onto others.
- One doctor recently said that getting a COVID-19 test can determine if you have the omicron variant or the common cold since the symptoms are so similar, as I wrote for the Deseret News.
The CDC recommends people get the COVID-19 vaccine to fight the omicron variant since the vaccines “are highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death.”
It’s unclear how well face masks can stop the omicron variant. Dr. William Schaffner, a professor of health policy and infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, said the omicron variant might have too many viral particles for masks to stop.
- “Omicron produces more virus, even than delta,” Schaffner told Health. “So, the masks’ capacity to interrupt or reduce transmission back and forth is likewise reduced.”