Governor Phil Murphy at his Monday press conference said he is “closely monitoring” the emergence of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, adding that he is doing so while still keeping his eye on Delta, which accounts for the vast majority of current infections. However, the governor did not say that he plans to add any additional advisories or restrictions due to the variant.
“We’re closely monitoring the Omicron variant – and we’re still not done with Delta,” Murphy said. “We encourage everyone to get vaccinated and get your booster. It’s the best way to protect yourself.”
The governor added that he is not following steps taken by New York Governor Kathy Hochul in preparation for the virus, including banning elective surgeries, saying “we are nowhere near” needing to do that.
New York City health officials are being more cautious, and today “strongly” recommended that people wear masks “at all times.”
No cases of Omicron have yet been detected in New Jersey, but health officials expect the variant to pop up in the Garden State over the coming days.
While there was a lot of panicking over the new variant over the weekend, it appears that Omicron poses no more of a danger – and possibly less of a danger 0 than the Delta strain.
In fact, some health officials suggest that Omicron is a good thing.
Professor Dror Mevorach, the head of the Covid department at Hadassah Ein Kerem in Yerushalayim, said that preliminary data are encouraging.
“If it continues this way, this might be a relatively mild illness compared to the delta variant, and paradoxically, if it takes over, it will lead to lower infection rates,” Mevorach said.