Health experts say it’s not a matter of ‘if’ but ‘when’ omicron will be discovered in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. — It’s not a matter of “if” but “when” the omicron variant is discovered in Washington. 

As we wait for that announcement, state health experts say there is no need to panic. 

Doctors are still trying to learn as much as they can about omicron and once it’s been detected in Washington, doctors say they will be keeping an eye on surveillance testing. They say omicron may not be able to compete with delta, but that will all depend on mutations. 

While this new variant has the world on high alert, there is some hope. 

Experts say masks are one of the best tools to fight back against the virus and Washington already has a mask mandate in place.

“I think what omicron has reminded us is that this pandemic is far from over, but what’s different from a year ago is we have an incredible tool,” Health Secretary Dr. Umair Shah said. 

He was talking about the COVID-19 vaccine. The Department of Health says booster shots are critical right now and if more people would take advantage of them, it would put the state in an even better spot. 

Boosters are available to anyone 18 and up. 

READ: US sees first case of omicron variant detected in California

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