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Omicron Variant of COVID-19 Keeps Facility Managers on Pandemic Alert
December 2, 2021 -
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Facility managers returned from Thanksgiving breaks to find a new variant of COVID-19 could soon impact their institutional and commercial facilities.
The Omicron variant started making headlines over the holiday weekend, as it was first reported as popping up in South Africa. Cases of the Omicron variant have already been found in Canada, and the U.S. has already imposed travel bans on eight southern African countries in an effort to limit U.S. exposure to the new threat.
President Joe Biden said on November 29 that it was “almost inevitable” that Omicron would reach the U.S., according to the BBC.
What does this mean for facility managers, who are likely already on the edge about dealing with COVID-19 since March 2020?
Biden said in a news conference that the variant is a “cause for concern, not a cause for a panic” and said he is not imposing or suggesting new lockdowns for now, provided mask wearing continues and people continue to get vaccinations and boosters.
As mask mandates and vaccinations continue as hot-button topics across the country, managers should take a wait-and-see approach, but be ready to change gears when conditions call for it, before revising or taking any additional measures at their facilities on how to deal with the new variant.
Dave Lubach is managing editor, Facility Market.