Gov. Ned Lamont says he believes the latest COVID-19 variant omicron is already here.
Experts say the symptoms associated with the omicron variant are mild but it’s still unclear whether omicron will replace delta as the dominant variant.
“We’re into the thousands of variants at this point in time, hundreds of thousands of variants,” Keith Grant, a nurse at Hartford Hospital, said.
Grant said like any virus, COVID-19 mutated.
Those mutations, “impacts the factors of how contagious it is. It impacts how capable we are to respond to it with treatment,” he added.
Those mutations can impact vaccine effectiveness and detection of the virus itself, according to Grant.
“A virus is going to virus. What we are witnessing right now, if you believe in it or you don’t believe in it, it’s darwinism,” Dr. Ulyssess Wu, an infectious disease specialist at Hartford Healthcare, said.
Wu said the focus should still be on delta.
“Delta is still certainly affecting us and it is affecting us in an adverse way at this point. It’s not due to vaccinations not working,” Wu said.
Wu said there’s waning vaccination efficacy from those vaccinated last March or April.
“Our way out of this really is still going to be vaccination and masking,” he added.
"My assumption is that the new variant is here in Connecticut,” Gov. Ned Lamont said.
The governor hopes it will motivate people to take precautions.
"This variant is getting people boostered. This variant is getting kids vaccinated 5-11. So let's let that play out. I think the people of Connecticut are really smart in doing the right thing,” Lamont added.