With the Omicron variant spreading to all corners of the world, worrying outbreaks are now being reported in various locations. Unlike with the Delta variant, this time around there are a limited number of restrictions in place when it comes to social distancing, the wearing of masks, and travel—making the threat of the constantly-mutating virus even more terrifying.
Here's where all the latest COVID outbreaks have taken place.
Omicron outbreak in Scottish music festival
The NHS has revealed that ‘a small number of cases’ which have been identified as infections by the Omicron variant, has been linked to the Royal British Legion charity gig that took place in Nairn on 27 November. Given that it was a relatively uncrowded event with just 70 attendees, even a few positive cases was deemed a ‘significant’ outbreak. NHS Highland wrote:
NHS Highland’s Health Protection Team has identified a significant outbreak of COVID-19 linked to a music event held at the Royal British Legion in Nairn on Saturday 27th November 2021.
A small number of those cases have now been identified as cases of the newly identified Omicron variant.
The exact number of infections have not been revealed, but the team said they have deployed enhanced contact tracing.
COVID outbreak on a cruise ship
Meanwhile, ten people tested positive while aboard a Norwegian cruise ship that has more than 3,000 passengers. As reported by The Independent, the ship set sail from New Orleans on 28 November and has made several pit stops along the way, including one in Belize Honduras and another in Mexico.
While officials have yet to give details on how the passengers caught the virus, they reiterated that they do test everyone before disembarking from New Orleans. They said:
We are testing all individuals on Norwegian Breakaway prior to disembarkation, as well as providing post-exposure and quarantine public health guidance by the (U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).
Any guests who have tested positive for COVID-19 will travel by personal vehicle to their personal residence or self-isolate in accommodations provided by the company.
The ship is expected to return back to New Orleans this weekend.
Avoiding the new variant
Given the rise of a reportedly more infectious virus, experts are urging people to take better decisions if they want to avoid getting COVID. Last week, Dr. Anthony Fauci outlined 7 steps everyone should take to prevent infection by Omicron—which included avoiding crowded spaces and indoor gatherings, and maintaining social distance. All of which are difficult to follow when attending a concert or going on a cruise.
He also reiterated the importance of wearing a mask, washing your hands, and getting vaccinated.