New Omicron Variant Causes US Border Restrictions

Courtesy of News

By Emily Kozak

Much is unknown about the new coronavirus variant, Omicron. As the new variant begins to gather more cases around the globe, this new variant poses a high risk to everyone, even to vaccinated people. On Monday, November 29, President Joe Biden placed travel restrictions on people traveling from South Africa and seven other countries.  Countries are currently in a rush to place travel bans and protect their citizens. The Biden administration has spoken out over these past few days stating that they will restrict travel from South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Malawi.

“I’ve decided we’re going to be cautious,” President Biden said when asked about his new restrictions.

These travel bans will let the U.S. have more time to investigate and prepare for the new variant. As of recently, the first case of the variant in the U.S. has been discovered in California.

On Friday, November 26, Biden started restricting the travel of people that have been present in those countries. This new proclamation does however exempt US citizens. This will remain in effect until decided otherwise. 

“It’s inevitable that sooner or later it’s going to spread widely because it has at least the molecular characteristics of being highly transmissible, even though there are a lot of things about it that we do not know but that will be able to be ascertained in the next week or two, I believe,” said Dr. Antony Fauci. 

The first cases of the omicron virus in North America were found in Canada on Sunday. These two cases in Ontario were later confirmed by healthcare professionals to be the new omicron variant. As new cases are found around the globe, the USA is also discovering its first case.

“I am scared how this new virus is going to affect the schools, like if we have to go virtual again,” says Sophomore Alyssa Colucci.