Medical expert says omicron variant not expected to be as bad as delta

Posted at 10:06 PM, Dec 23, 2021

TAMPA, Fla — Outside of wearing a mask around others, top doctors say there's another piece of advice that you should follow as COVID-19 cases climb.

"Get your booster shot. It will help protect against omicron," said Dr. Vincte Hsu of Advent Health.

While Dr. Hsu does expect hospitalizations to go up, he also says we likely won't see the same "surge" that we saw with the delta variant.

"Because we have a significant number of people in the community that are infected, undoubtedly that will bring some of those patients into the hospital," he said.

He says it's largely because omicron seems to be milder than the delta variant, but he adds that it doesn't mean we shouldn't take proper precautions, starting with holiday gatherings.

"I know this is not the holiday season that we wished could have occurred. I wish it were under different circumstances," said Dr. Hsu.

According to Dr. Hsu, it is safe for most people to gather for the holidays, especially if you're vaccinated or have gotten your booster. And if you're on the fence about either, he highly recommends getting your shot before spending time with the people you love.

"There's nothing worse than transmitting a virus to a loved one that could have been prevented," he said.

And if you are going to be around people over the next few days, he adds that it's best to get tested but only if the test is FDA approved.

"Well, my advice is to take any test that you have available," said Dr. Hsu.

For a full list of FDA-approved tests, including at-home kits, click here.