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Home » Valentine's Day » State health commissioner: “We’re not in a state of panic about omicron variant,” but holiday gatherings should happen with precautions

State health commissioner: “We’re not in a state of panic about omicron variant,” but holiday gatherings should happen with precautions

The state’s new health commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said holiday gatherings should only happen at consideration of the most-vulnerable.

So what does that mean for Christmas, New Years, and remaining holiday gatherings?

“Just look at it from the perspective of the person who is most vulnerable who would be at risk of having severe disease if they got infected,” Bassett told Spectrum News. “We’re not regulating what people do in their homes.”

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The list of potentially vulnerable people include older people, as well as children under 5 who do not yet qualify for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Another issue? A large percentage of those between 5-17 who have not yet been vaccinated.

“We’re not in a state of panic about the omicron variant,” Bassett added. “We had advanced notice and we have tools that we didn’t have when the original COVID virus arrived.”

Heading into the final weeks of 2021, as Omicron cases surge across the state, Bassett hopes people get vaccinated.

“We want people who aren’t vaccinated to get vaccinated,” Bassett said. “We want people who are fully vaccinated to get the booster. If the omicron variant is encouraging people to do that, all the better.”