Has the ommicron COVID-19 variant affected gas prices? – Community News
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Has the ommicron COVID-19 variant affected gas prices?

Gas prices fell slightly this week, even after concerns about the ommicron variant of the coronavirus began to mount.

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the US is now $3.39, one cent less than last week, according to AAA.

While it’s only a minor dip, it still offers consumers who have had to deal with rising prices at pumps across the country “a little break,” AAA said.

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Compared to a year ago, prices are up $1.27 per gallon.

On Monday, the World Health Organization warned that the global risk of the omicron variant is “very high” based on early evidence, saying the mutated coronavirus could lead to spikes with “serious consequences”.

A man refuels a car at a gas station in New York City on October 13, 2021. (Xinhua via Getty Images/Getty Images)

The UN health agency’s assessment, contained in a technical paper issued to member states, amounted to the WHO’s strongest and most explicit warning yet about the new variant of the virus first identified by researchers in South Africa.

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News of the variant on Friday pushed the price of crude oil down temporarily.

“We saw the fear on Friday as oil plummeted 13%,” Patrick De Haan, chief of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, told FOX Business.

However, AAA spokesman Andrew Gross said it is “too early to say whether fears of a global economic slowdown caused by the omicron variant will push oil prices down in the long run”.

But for now, “the upward price pressure from tighter supply and high demand appears to have eased, and that will likely lead to pump prices stabilizing.”

De Haan predicted that gas prices will probably fall, partly due to the rise of the COVID-19 variant.

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Consumers “can expect lower prices as many countries go back on travel restrictions, limiting demand for oil and potentially accelerating the decline in gas prices,” De Haan said.

The markets with the most expensive gas, according to AAA, are still California at $4.71 per gallon, followed by Hawaii ($4.35), Nevada ($3.96) and Washington State ($3.88).

The least expensive markets are Oklahoma ($2.95), Texas ($2.98) and Arkansas ($3.02).

The Associated Press contributed to this report.