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As Omicron variant shows up in Ga., doctors remind community COVID is still around this holiday season

Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 4:01 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The Omicron variant is now officially in Georgia and local health leaders say they’re not surprised.

WTOC talked with the director of the Coastal Health District Monday to find out what we know so far about Omicron.

Dr. Lawton Davis at the Chatham County Health Department says, it’s too early to truly see how bad it is, it is affecting all age groups.

Dr. Davis explained there are roughly three or four flights per week that come into Atlanta from South Africa, and because of this he says he had to assume that the state would see cases of the omicron variant in some of its residents.

Dr. Davis says it appears that in South Africa cases are going up dramatically and there’s an increase in hospitalizations.

Dr. Davis says as people continue to gather for holiday events it’s important that they remember COVID-19 has not gone away. He says it’s still best to avoid indoor gatherings if possible, get vaccinated, get the booster and follow the safety protocols, like wearing a mask. As of now, Dr. Davis says it’s unclear just how the vaccine protects against the omicron variant, but that it still provides the best protection.

“We know it’s here. We know that it’s highly contagious. At least probably as contagious as the delta variant and some people think it’s five or six times more contagious than the delta variant. As people travel they just need to be very careful,” Dr. Davis said.

Dr. Davis says as we hear of this new variant being in the state, we also have to remember that the delta variant is also still here. He says it accounts for 99% of all of the cases here in Georgia.

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