/ Modified dec 14, 2021 4:41 p.m.

COVID-19 creating another holiday of concern

Omicron variant and vaccination worries are making gatherings difficult again.

COVID Anxiety Caution over the coronavirus is expected to last for a while.
AZPM

The holiday season is bringing with it new concerns about spreading COVID-19.

University of Arizona epidemiologist Michael Worobey says part of the current surge in cases is due to people holding indoor gatherings during Thanksgiving. So now, Christmas and New Year events could also be problematic for those who wish to attend. Worobey adds that the rise of the Omicron variant comes at the worst possible time.

“Unvaccinated people who haven’t been infected before, as well as those who have been infected, are going to get Omicron. There’s just no question about it," he said.

Researchers have yet to reach a conclusion about whether the Omicron variant is deadlier than the other versions of the virus, but it is more transmissible.

Worobey says upgrading to a higher quality mask is a good idea as people keep meeting in risky indoor settings. He notes KF-94 and KN-95 masks offer better protection and are now becoming more available on the market.

Scientists are also concerned about new variants spreading into nursing homes and other elderly care facilities where vaccine effectiveness may be starting to wear thin

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