(Washington, D.C.) -- Doctor Anthony Fauci says the Omicron COVID variant has a doubling time of two days. The nation's leading infectious disease expert said the best defense is still getting vaccinated and boosted, but urged people to be extra cautious when gathering in groups by wearing masks and maintaining social distancing practices.
Fauci said data from South Africa, where Omicron was first detected, shows the variant is likely to cause less hospitalizations than the Delta variant. He added those traveling over the holidays are increasing the risk of contracting the virus, but said if you are vaccinated and wear a mask planes are actually very safe. Fauci said the vaccine is working to combat Omicron by reducing hospitalizations but breakthrough cases will still happen.