Nebraska Medicine expert sounds off omicron variant closing in

Published: Dec. 2, 2021 at 10:46 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omicron is on the move and moving fast with multiple cases reported in New York, Minnesota, Colorado, and Hawaii.

6 News spoke with Nebraska’s top infectious disease expert on what this means for Christmas traveling plans.

“It’s probably in multiple areas of the United States so it’s going to be hard to put the genie back in the bottle at this point,” said Dr. Mark Rupp.

Nebraska Medicine’s Dr. Mark Rupp says don’t be mistaken, it will get here.

“It’s certainly in states around us and it’s only a matter of a short period of time before we see it in our community,” said Rupp.

“We’re going to fight this variant with science and speed, not chaos and confusion,” said President Biden.

President Biden laid out a plan Thursday to combat COVID and its variant this winter. It includes extending the TSA’s mask requirement and requiring a negative COVID test within 24 hours of boarding a flight into the U.S.

“The plan I’m announcing today pulls no punches in the fight against COVID 19 and it’s a plan that I think will unite us,” said Biden.

The plan also calls on private insurers to cover the cost of at-home COVID tests and nationwide distribution of COVID treatment pills once they’re approved. Still, the number one way to put an end to this pandemic is to get vaccinated.

“This is a great time if you’ve not been vaccinated to go ahead and pony up and get the vaccine,” said Rupp.

The doctor also points to the importance of precautionary measures and with hospitals hitting capacity, he says there’s no time to waste entering into the winter.

“Having some safe distance wearing our mask avoiding those risky setting and try to decrease the transmission. I think the biggest plea for folks is we don’t need to wait for this Omicron to come in and make a big impact. We need action now,” said Rupp.

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