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Will the latest COVID-19 variant, Omicron, ruin family plans for another Christmas?

Omicron is spreading quickly, similarly to what happened with the Delta variant. This is happening right before Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Experts have differing opinions, but many feel it’s important that family see each other this holiday after last Christmas was abnormal.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Los Angeles Times that it looks like there’s going to be a winter surge.

Related: Pfizer officials predict the pandemic will end in 2024

She added that if safety measures aren’t taken seriously, Americans may not be in a good place by the end of Jan.

In order to prepare, it’s important to become vaccinated, get a booster shot, wear masks, take tests, and stay home if feeling unwell.

Evidence shows that Omicron spreads at a rate 70 times faster than the Delta variant.

It is still unknown what the long term side effects of this strain could be.

Related: Should holiday gatherings be scaled back due to COVID-19 surge?

What to do about Omicron and the holidays

Experts say family gatherings are fine, as long as everyone uses safety measures.

This includes being vaccinated and getting a booster shot.

What may be concerning is larger Christmas gatherings instead of small ones.

Related: International travel restrictions tightened in wake of Omicron variant

The virus is airborne, so if you have a larger gathering in a warmer place, it’s best to do it outside.

It’s suggested that even if older people, or those with weaker immune systems, are vaccinated and boostered, they reconsider a larger gathering.

Many people who are vaccinated with a booster shot may not even be aware they’re infected, and could spread it to those who could become ill.

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