Be on guard as Omicron looms, official says: 'There cannot be COVID fatigue'

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Cook County health expert is weighing in on concerns over the new COVID variant, Omicron, and calling on residents to take simple steps to prevent a wave of infections.

Dr. Sharon Welbel, Director of Hospital Epidemiology and Infection Control at Cook County Health, said there are plenty of unanswered questions at this point.

“Will one have more severe disease due to this variant as opposed to others?” she said. “Will it be more transmissible? Will the currently available vaccines work to prevent severe disease and death from this variant?”

While hopeful for more clarity in the next few weeks, Dr. Welbel said now is the time for common sense.

“We all know what we need to do to prevent spread of this disease and of the virus. We can do this. We really have to rally. There cannot be COVID fatigue.”

She said face masks, social distancing and most importantly, vaccination, will all be key in avoiding spread of the variant.
 
“People just need to continue to be careful,” she said. “I think that people should really use the tools that we have.”