What Californias Should Know about Omicron

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California Today

California officials are watching for grounds of the caller coronavirus variant and expanding investigating astatine airports.

Soumya Karlamangla

Nov. 29, 2021, 8:47 a.m. ET

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A Covid-19 investigating  tract  successful  South Africa connected  Saturday.
Credit...Jerome Delay/Associated Press

Chances are that headlines astir a caller and worrisome coronavirus variant interrupted the blissful haze of your vacation weekend.

In what felt similar a substance of hours, the variant archetypal identified successful South Africa had been fixed an authoritative sanction (Omicron, confusingly), prompted a flurry of borderline closures and sent banal markets tumbling. The World Health Organization connected Friday labeled Omicron a “variant of concern,” the archetypal coronavirus variant to warrant that designation since Delta.

For me, the developments felt a small excessively akin to the fast-mounting pandemic anxiousness of Thanksgiving 2020. Turkey, pumpkin pastry and, of course, a broadside of scary coronavirus news.

Still, there’s a batch we don’t cognize astir Omicron, which makes it hard to discern precisely however alarmed we should beryllium by its imminent accomplishment successful the U.S. There’s immoderate grounds that Omicron is peculiarly casual to transmit, but besides that it causes lone mild illness.

We’re apt to larn plentifulness successful the coming days — however contagious this caller variant is, however sick it makes people, wherever it has already dispersed and however good vaccines bounds infections.

As my workfellow Apoorva Mandavilli reports, scientists are racing to reply that last, and possibly astir important, question.

Here’s wherefore experts are concerned: Omicron has much than 30 mutations successful its spike protein, the portion of the microorganism that vaccines bid the assemblage to admit and combat against. In different words, Omicron’s highly mutated spike mightiness beryllium capable to evade antibodies produced by a erstwhile corruption oregon a vaccine.

While immoderate experts judge the existing vaccines volition proceed to ward disconnected terrible unwellness and death, adjacent if much radical go infected, the vaccine manufacturers Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are already preparing to reformulate their shots to people Omicron. It volition beryllium astatine slightest a fewer weeks earlier we person a clearer picture, Apoorva writes.

If this oversea of unknowns is making you consciousness anxious, it mightiness beryllium adjuvant to retrieve that we recognize overmuch much astir the coronavirus than we erstwhile did. And the recommendations for staying harmless from Omicron are akin to what officials person been saying for weeks arsenic they effort stave disconnected a wintertime surge of infections.

California officials connected Sunday reiterated the request for everyone who is eligible to beryllium vaccinated and for high-risk radical to question boosters. They besides recommended wearing masks successful indoor nationalist places and being tested if you person immoderate symptoms of Covid-19.

Because of the quality astir Omicron, California is expanding Covid investigating astatine airports for American citizens and imperishable residents arriving from 8 African nations. All different travelers from those countries are barred from entering the U.S. starting today.

The authorities volition besides proceed to trial coronavirus samples to way whether Omicron is circulating here. So far, 99.7 percent of specimens sequenced successful California this period were recovered to beryllium the Delta variant.

“California is intimately monitoring the caller Omicron variant, which has not yet arrived successful California oregon the U.S.,” Dr. Tomás J. Aragón, the state’s nationalist wellness director, said successful a connection connected Sunday. “Vaccines proceed to beryllium our champion mode done the pandemic.”

For more:


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Credit...Gabriela Bhaskar/The New York Times
  • Troubled Afghan resettlement: As Afghan communities similar Fremont go progressively expensive, the national authorities is faced with tough choices.

  • Fire-loving fungi: Scientists person discovered that the harm near by fires whitethorn let pyrophilous fungi to thrive.

  • Phasing retired fracking: California officials person not accepted immoderate permits for hydraulic fracturing since February, The Associated Press reports.

  • High-end burglaries: Officials person promised to ace down connected burglars who person brazenly targeted upscale stores throughout California.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

  • “Paradise Blue”: The playwright Dominique Morisseau has ended the tally of her play conscionable a week aft it opened astatine the Geffen Playhouse.

  • Oddities collector: Jonathan Pessin, a collector and trader of unusual objects and furniture, has filled his Los Angeles home with oddities.

  • Far-ranging wolf killed: A grey wolf that had garnered attraction for traveling to Southern California from Oregon was recovered dormant adjacent a Los Angeles roadway, NPR reports.

CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

  • Squaw Valley: Fresno County officials are resisting a propulsion from activists to region “squaw,” a derogatory word, from the town’s name, The Guardian reports.

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

  • Christmas histrion frenzy: Fearing shortages, Bay Area residents are rushing to bargain Christmas trees contempt a terms increase, The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

  • Peacock invasion: Many residents successful Tracy person complained astir a flock of peacocks wreaking havoc successful their neighborhood, The Sacramento Bee reports.


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Credit...Beth Coller for The New York Times

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Credit...Bethany Mollenkof for The New York Times

Today’s extremity comes from Eric Taylor, who lives successful San Diego. He recommends the adjacent metropolis of Coronado:

“The Crown City is not truly an land (though often called that), but an isthmus, connected to Imperial Beach by mode of the Silver Strand. I emotion to instrumentality the ferry from downtown San Diego to Ferry Landing successful Coronado (runs each hour) and lone costs $7 each mode (you tin bring a motorcycle if you person one).

The Ferry Landing has a bully assortment of restaurants and shops to enjoy. Both astatine the Ferry Landing and elsewhere successful Coronado, you tin rent a motorcycle for the time oregon simply walk. Restaurants successful Coronado diagnostic ma and popular places similar Clayton’s Coffee Shop, to immoderate concatenation restaurants (like Subway, Panera Bread, and Chipotle), Coronado Brewing Company, McP’s Irish Pub, and good eating abounds, including astatine the Del Coronado.

The Del Coronado is successful the process of remodeling and overmuch has been done already. It’s a large spot to spell to the formation to radical watch, oregon dip your toes successful the water. The Del besides has extracurricular eating and drinks with a beachfront presumption that is unfastened to the public.

There is astatine slightest 1 unrecorded theatre and 1 regular cinema. Vons market store and astatine slightest 2 pharmacies grace the area. Lots of edifice accommodations for astir budgets. There are besides galore nationalist parks, galore shaded, for visitors to enjoy.

Many person expressed that it seems similar a municipality mislaid to time, and immoderate person nicknamed it ‘Mayberry.’ All successful all, a precise pleasant spot to visit.”

Tell america astir your favourite places to sojourn successful California. Email your suggestions to CAtoday@nytimes.com. We’ll beryllium sharing much successful upcoming editions of the newsletter.


Has your kid been vaccinated against Covid-19? What was the acquisition like? How has entree to immunizations affected your vacation plans?

Share stories of your children receiving their coronavirus shots. Please see your child’s name, property and metropolis of residence — and adjacent a photograph, if you’d like.

Email maine astatine CAtoday@nytimes.com and your submission whitethorn beryllium included successful a aboriginal newsletter.


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Credit...Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, via Associated Press

For weeks, the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care has been incapable to look aft orphaned bears and different ample animals.

California regulators said that the halfway needed large improvements to its enclosures aft a carnivore cub being treated for terrible wildfire burns escaped this summer.

It was the archetypal flight successful the 45-year past of the halfway successful South Lake Tahoe, The Associated Press reports.

But the center’s luck appears to beryllium changing. As of past week, it had collected astir each of the $1.05 cardinal needed to statesman operation to grow and renovate, acknowledgment successful ample portion to backstage donors.

“We’ve turned the corner,” Greg Erfani, the center’s spokesman, told The Associated Press. “It’s going to physique the archetypal carnal infirmary successful the Lake Tahoe area.”


Thanks for reading. I’ll beryllium backmost tomorrow. — Soumya

P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: The peculiar word for the cardboard sleeve astir a java cupful (4 letters).

Mariel Wamsley contributed to California Today. You tin scope the squad astatine CAtoday@nytimes.com.

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