LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The new COVID-19 variant omicron dominates new cases in South Africa with cases increasing in Europe. It has started to make its way to the U.S. — but are we ready for it?
The fact is, coronavirus keeps mutating. Is Southern Nevada prepared, and what will the impacts on the economy be?
COVID-19 hit us like a bus. Then, the delta variant took a swing. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports the omicron variant is here — but to what extent and risk, we don’t know.
Gov. Steve Sisolak had this to say about Nevada’s response:
"We hope it doesn't happen again. We are also well-prepared in our health care system to make sure if we have another virus coming in, another variant, we'll be able to handle it better than in the past. We certainly hope we don't have to implement any new restrictions or people losing their jobs. The key is getting people vaccinated."
The original COVID-19 shook our economy to the core, and many are still struggling with employment and staying open. The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation says despite DETR fiascos over these past two years, they’ve gotten better.
"I think, because we’ve made so many changes in the system and improvements, we are ready for a pretty large influx, should one occur," said DETR director Elisa Cafferata.
The CDC says omicron will likely spread faster than the original COVID-19 virus, but whether it will spread more quickly than delta is still unknown. Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, says early reports about omicron are “encouraging."