President Joe Biden said on Nov. 29 that amid the worldwide spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, he doesn’t anticipate shutdowns or lockdowns being enacted this winter if “people are vaccinated” and wear a mask. “On Thursday, I’ll be putting forward a detailed strategy outlining how we’re going to fight COVID this winter,” Biden said during remarks at the White House. “Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing, and more.” Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) deemed Omicron a variant of concern and, in a subsequent update on Nov. 28, said it appears to be highly infectious. However, it’s not clear if the virus presents more severe disease symptoms, according to WHO, as several doctors in South Africa and Israel told media outlets that those who are infected with Omicron may have milder symptoms. The EU, the United States, and other countries implemented travel …


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