The classification put Omicron into the most troubling category of Covid-19 variants, along with the globally dominant Delta, and its weaker rivals Alpha, Beta and Gamma. The preliminary evidence suggests there may be an increased risk of people who previously had Covid being re-infected with Omicron. The information is currently limited on whether the symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants.
The widely-used PCR tests continue to detect Omicron as with other variants. Studies are ongoing to determine whether there is any impact on other types of tests such as rapid antigen detection tests.
CDC recommends people follow prevention strategies such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, washing your hands frequently, and physically distancing from others. CDC also recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated. CDC encourages a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for those who are eligible.
Travelers to the U.S. should continue to follow CDC recommendations for traveling.
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