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Health & Fit With omicron in the US, is it safe to dine indoors now?

12:51  04 december  2021
12:51  04 december  2021 Source:   today.com

Fauci says he 'would not be surprised' if omicron COVID-19 variant already in US

  Fauci says he 'would not be surprised' if omicron COVID-19 variant already in US The omicron variant was first identified in South Africa and has since led to travel restrictions from several countries.He also told co-anchors Kristen Welker and Peter Alexander that it was possible the omicron variant is already in the United States.

As the world rushes to determine how much of an impact the omicron variant will have on the pandemic, experts are urging people to exercise caution around higher-risk activities like dining indoors.

Since the early stages of the pandemic, indoor dining has been considered one of the riskiest activities, since there's no way to wear a mask while eating or drinking. Restaurants have installed plexiglass barriers and some cities have required proof of vaccination to make the activity safer, but there are still questions about the new variant — such as if it's more transmissible or if it will evade vaccines.

Dr. Fauci says 'we certainly are not going to eradicate' COVID-19 as he warns to prepare for Omicron variant

  Dr. Fauci says 'we certainly are not going to eradicate' COVID-19 as he warns to prepare for Omicron variant "We certainly are not going to eradicate it," Dr. Anthony Fauci said of COVID-19. "What I do think we will be able to do is get a level of control.""We certainly are not going to eradicate it," Fauci said on Meet the Press. "We've only eradicated one virus and that's smallpox. Elimination means there's none of it in the country like we have now with polio and with measles. I don't think we're gonna be there with this.

Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease specialist at Northwell Health, said that he would urge people to be cautious while scientists work to answer those questions, but emphasized that right now, people will have to rely on their own personal risk calculations and consider factors like their vaccination status and the strength of their immune systems.

Related: One epidemiologist said that unvaccinated indoor diners increase the "level of risk of transmission" for everyone.

"I think it depends on who the person is and how vulnerable that individual is," Hirsch said. "If a person has not been vaccinated, I don't think they should go out to indoor dining, in terms of their own vulnerability and addition to the vulnerability of others. If a person has been fully vaccinated and they are free of some of the risk factors for severe COVID and they're not immunosuppressed, I think indoor dining would be kind of a reasonable option."

Omicron variant now in North America, Canadian officials say

  Omicron variant now in North America, Canadian officials say Two cases of the newly identified coronavirus variant found in Africa and Europe have been detected in Ontario.Top Ontario health officials Christine Elliott and Kieran Moore said in a joint statement that two people who had recently been in Nigeria have tested positive for the variant.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have not currently issued specific guidance about indoor dining and omicron, but continue to recommend that people "follow prevention strategies such as wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission." So far, there have been no restrictions put in place on indoor dining due to the omicron variant.

Related: All adults are now eligible for COVID-19 booster shots, which means more people than ever have already or will soon be experiencing side effects from their

The CDC also recommends following preventative strategies like frequent hand washing, maintaining social distance, and getting vaccinated if you are eligible. Currently, those over the age of 5 are eligible for a vaccine, and those over the age of 18 are eligible for a booster dose.

Hirsch emphasized the importance of vaccination, especially during this stage of the pandemic. He also said that potential diners should consider the specific regulations and coronavirus situation in one's area: Some communities are experiencing severe rates of community spread and have few mitigation strategies in place. Other places, like New York City, require proof of vaccination status to dine indoors.

"I think having confidence that the people around you are vaccinated is a huge aspect of the calculation," Hirsch said.

Related:

South Africa says its Omicron wave may have peaked, and it's lifting its overnight curfews one month after reporting the new variant .
COVID-19 cases in South Africa subsided just weeks after new infections surged to record highs, as the rest of the world grapples with Omicron.In response, the country is now lifting its night-time curfew, which restricted people from going out between midnight and 4 a.m., the South African cabinet said in a statement.

usr: 0
This is interesting!