RALEIGH, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper and the Coronavirus Task Force are set to give an update on the state’s COVID-19 response Tuesday afternoon as the nation prepares for the newly identified omicron variant.
Last week, scientists in South Africa alerted the World Health Organization about the new variant, prompting the United States to restrict travel to at least eight African countries Monday.
The omicron variant has since been detected in travelers arriving in several countries, including Great Britain, Australia, Israel and the Netherlands.
President Biden advised Americans Monday that the best way to protect against the new variant is to get fully vaccinated and get a booster shot.
“Do not wait. Go get your booster if it’s time for you to do so,” Biden said. “And if you are not vaccinated, now is the time to go get vaccinated and to bring your children to go get vaccinated.”
The president also urged for people to return to wearing face masks indoors in public settings to slow any spread.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told Biden Sunday during a task force meeting that it would take two more weeks to learn how transmissible and how severe the omicron variant really is.
Fauci said he would not be surprised if the omicron variant was already in the U.S.
On Tuesday, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,755 additional cases, bringing the statewide total to 1,534,005 COVID-19 cases. 1,131 people are currently hospitalized with the virus.
18,740 people have died in North Carolina from COVID-19, NCDHHS reported. The percent positive rate rose to 9.4%.
FOX 46 Charlotte will carry Governor Cooper’s news conference live on air and online at 3 p.m. Tuesday.