As the threat of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus intensifies, so has the White House’s response efforts. The Oval Office outlined a slew of measures Thursday to combat the variant over winter. The administration said its initial steps include: pushing boosters for the nearly 100 million Americans who have not yet gotten their shot by expanding pharmacy accessibility; launching a new public education campaign; expanding both availability and accessibility of at-home testing for Americans; and more robust protocols and preventative measures to ensure safe international travel—including a new requirement that requires travelers to provide a negative COVID test 24 hour prior to departure instead of 72 hours.
The White House said it will also push rapid response teams to deal with case surged, and offer 1.2 billion doses of the vaccine to other countries. Officials said Thursday that it had detected the second case of Omicron in the U.S. in a Minnesota man who recently attended an anime convention in New York City.