Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a warning just last week that the omicron variant will become the dominant strain in the United States in a matter of weeks. That day has already come. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, omicron accounts for 73 percent of new cases across the U.S., making it the dominant variant in the U.S. It’s already responsible for an estimated 90 percent of new infections in the New York area, the Southeast, the industrial Midwest, and the Pacific Northwest, per AP News. 

The World Health Organization said last week that the omicron variant has caused the number of cases to double in a matter of three days, speaking to how highly transmissible the strain can be. The New York Times reports it’s two to three times as likely to spread as Delta, but it’s still too early to determine if early indications of predominantly mild cases is what one can expect from an omicron infection. 

Fauci and other experts have reirtrtaed that a person’s best defense against the possibility of severe illness related to a COVID-19 infection is to be fully vaccinated and boosted. While the vaccine has never been promised to prevent someone from catching the virus, it can give them the peace of mind that they should be “relatively well protected.” 

Less than a month ago, the WHO identified omicron as a “variant of concern” after scientists in South Africa rang the alarm of its existence. Many countries attempted to combat the imminent arrival of omicron by placing a travel ban on the country and its surrounding areas.