New COVID variants: Did the CDC find a new variant?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a plan to find new COVID-19 variants.

What happened: Dr. Jon LaPook, the chief medical correspondent for CBS News, recently spoke with the CDC on “60 Minutes” about the next COVID-19 variant.

Details: LaPook toured the CDC’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, where he spoke with CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky.

  • Walensky said: “We want to be able to detect 0.1% of any new variant that comes into this country with 99% certainty.”
  • “No, not right now. I mean, we’re tracking things but there’s nothing that appears to be the next omicron, ”a CDC staffer told LaPook.

Why it matters: Public health experts have warned local leaders that there could be future COVID-19 outbreaks as cases continue to drop nationwide.

  • Abraar Karan, an infectious disease physician at Stanford University, told The Guardian that local leaders should be using the current lull period to prepare for new COVID-19 variants.
  • “Once we have another variant, whenever that may be, the amount of spread from that variant will depend on what kind of preparedness we do now,” he said. “What are we doing to make schools, workplaces and public spaces more safe?”

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