PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — President Joe Biden spoke Monday morning about the new COVID-19 variant, Omicron, saying it is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” So far, the Omicron variant has not been detected in the United States.
President Joe Biden said Monday that the new Omicron coronavirus variant is “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic,” as federal health officials braced for the first cases of the new variant discovered in the US.
The news of a new variant comes after a huge Thanksgiving holiday weekend for air travel for people in the Pacific Northwest and in the US. More than twice as many travelers passed through Portland International Airport this year compared to last year.
It was a huge boom for the travel industry and for those who have largely stayed at home for the past 20 months. Those who traveled said they felt protected by mask mandates and felt comfortable and confident having received the COVID-19 vaccine – many had also received a booster shot.
But did the new variant spreading around the world worry about travelers about to fly?
“No, no, not at all,” said a traveler at PDX.
“We are vaccinated, we are careful. We stay away from people as much as possible,” said another traveler.
Many Americans are just ready to move on.
“Eventually you’ll get something. I’m not worried about it,” one traveler told FOX 12.
Lisa Hutter told FOX 12 that she is still very concerned.
“Well, it seems like there’s one variation after another and it just won’t go away and it’s just, it really beat me up, you know,” Hutter said. ‘I am a different person. I’m afraid of things, you know, and so forth, and I’ve never felt that way.’
Health officials don’t yet know how contagious or serious the Omicron variant can be, or how well the vaccines will protect people against it. The Delta variant was highly contagious and there were breakthrough cases.
PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) — Across the country, millions of Americans took to the air for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the number of trips was nearly…
Hutter worries about what isn’t known about the Omicron variant, and she admits she’s unsure about her travel plans for the next vacation.
“Well, we’ve already arranged Christmas, so we’re probably going to do it,” she said, “unless something terrible hits the news between now and then.”
FOX 12 asked PDX officials if they had any predictions for Christmas travel yet. They say it’s too early to tell, but a lot could change in the coming weeks.
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