On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529. It is named Omicron. No cases of this variant have been found in the U.S. to date. CDC is following the details of this new variant. It was first reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) by South Africa. CDC is working with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more. CDC will continue to monitor its path.
CDC is always watching variants. The U.S. variant watching system has reliably detected new variants in this country. We expect Omicron to be identified quickly, if it emerges in the U.S.
CDC knows what it takes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They recommend people follow prevention strategies:
- Wearing a mask in public indoor settings in areas of high transmission areas
- Washing your hands frequently
- Physically distancing from others
CDC also recommends that everyone 5 years and older protect themselves from COVID-19 by getting fully vaccinated. CDC encourages a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for those who are eligible.