Well, it’s here. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a statement Thursday, said it is working closely with public health authorities in Minnesota and New York City to investigate the latest confirmed OMICRON case. The World Health Organization on Wednesday said omicron has been confirmed in at least 23 countries worldwide. Not to be confused with the Omarion Challenge as has been the recent joke online.
The first OMICRON case was confirmed in California by U.S. officials Wednesday in a person who recently returned to San Francisco from a trip to South Africa. Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke to the media on Wednesday. The man, who was fully vaccinated and has since recovered, traveled to New York City to attend the Anime NYC 2021 convention at the Javits Center from Nov. 19-21, the department reported in a statement.
The Biden administration on Thursday laid out a plan to combat OMICRON and a possible winter surge of the predominant delta variant of the virus. The White house is requiring all in-bound international travelers to test for Covid within 24 hours of their departure. The administration is extending mask requirements on domestic flights and public transit through March 18. It is also expanding access to free at-home Covid tests.
“Since the beginning of this pandemic, Minnesota’s nation-leading genome sequencing infrastructure and strong testing network have allowed the state to quickly track the COVID-19 virus and better understand its spread,” Governor Tim Walz said. “Today, those tools detected a case of the omicron variant in Minnesota. This news is concerning, but it is not a surprise. We know that this virus is highly infectious and moves quickly throughout the world.”