By Robin Clutters

(CBS4) – The omicron variant has arrived in Colorado right in the middle of the busy holiday season. CBS4 Medical Editor Dr. Dave Hnida says while the variant is concerning, it is not cause for panic.

(Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY / AFP) (Photo by JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images)

“We aren’t really sure about the severity of it and how it’s going to end up affecting our daily life. We don’t know if this is a Dr. Evil type of variant, or a Pee Wee variant,” says Dr. Dave. “I think it’s going to take a couple weeks before we know if this variant is going to be severe.”

So far, two cases of the variant have been confirmed in Colorado. But Dr. Dave estimates omicron has been here for at least a month, long before the state started testing for it. He recommends Coloradans get their booster shots as soon as they are eligible to increase their protection against the virus and this variant.

“We think the booster is going to be very effective against this, but the only way to find out is to protect yourself.”

(Photo by Andriy Andriyenko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Dr. Dave has three recommendations if you are planning any holiday gatherings: get your booster shot, get your flu shot, and stay home if you are sick. Dr. Dave says colds, the flu, and upper respiratory infections are popping up right now. The symptoms are very similar to covid, which is why taking a test is key.

“Even if it’s not COVID, you’re still sick, and you should not be getting in a situation where you’re around other people.”

Dr. Dave expects to see an increase in coronavirus cases as the holidays approach, which is why he is reminding everyone about the importance of getting tested and doing whatever you can to prevent the spread of the virus.

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“We’re operating on a very high level of worry when it comes to what could happen. We are seeing a little bit of a dip in cases, but there is no guarantee that dip will continue to go down. We’re worried cases are going to spike up again rapidly. We could be in for a rough ride until we get to the first of the year.”

Robin Clutters