California is monitoring the new COVID-19 variant called omicron.
State public health officials say vaccines are still the best way to protect against serious illness caused by COVID-19 and its variants. The variant was first reported by South Africa and is said to be "a variant of concern." President Joe Biden issued travel restrictions to people who visited South Africa and its neighboring countries and regions. Those who have been in the area the last 14 days have to COVID test, quarantine for seven days even if negative, and isolate for ten days if COVID symptoms develop. President Biden is expected to soon give an update about the new Omicron coronavirus variant.
“The overall global risk related to the new variant … is assessed as very high,” according to a statement issued by the World Health Organization, adding that Omicron “has an unprecedented number of spike mutations, some of which are concerning for their potential impact on the trajectory of the pandemic.” So far, no deaths linked to the new variant had been reported and the South African doctor who first sounded the alarm on the Omicron variant of the coronavirus said that its symptoms are “unusual but mild” in healthy patients.