• Claire Riley

The Omicron Variant

As we conclude our holiday break, there is a blaring new variant which has began threatening the well-being of schools across the nation: Omicron. Omicron spiked at Viz after New Year’s and as of Friday January 7th, 45 students tested positive. According to the CDC, this new variant spreads easily compared to the original SARS-CoV-2; however, the good news is that the new variant likely carries a lower chance of getting seriously ill. Vaccines are expected to protect against severe sickness, hospitalization, and deaths due to Omicron however breakthrough infections of the virus are still likely to occur even in those fully vaccinated. According to news.northeastern.edu, the reason the virus is becoming less deadly is stay alive. The goal of the virus is to survive, replicate, and spread, which is why it is becoming less deadly as it mutates. There has been a lot of confusion lately as to what the quarantine rules are. People who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for 5 days if asymptomatic or are without fever for 24 hours (symptoms are resolving). This is followed by 5 days of wearing a mask. To minimize your risk of contracting omicron, researchers recommend wearing high quality masks such as an N95 and avoid large gatherings of unmasked people, especially those who are unvaccinated. Stay safe Viz students! Sources: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/12/31/1067702355/omicron-is-spreading-like-wildfire-scientists-are-trying-to-figure-out-why https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/variants/omicron-variant.html?s_cid=11734:omicron%20variant:sem.ga:p:RG:GM:gen:PTN:FY22 https://news.northeastern.edu/2021/12/13/virus-evolution/