Is the Omicron variant dangerous? Many people have conflicting opinions about the Omicron variant. The Omicron variant was first detected in the United States on December, 1st 2021. Since then Omicron has become the dominant covid variant making up more than 90% of covid cases. People infected with omicron are 70% less likely to be hospitalized. “While Omicron does appear to be less severe compared to Delta, especially in those vaccinated, it does not mean it should be categorized as mild,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus Director-General of the W.H.O. said.

Omicron is past it’s peak but a new subvariant, BA.2 has recently been detected. It has been nicknamed “Sneaky Omicron” or “Stealth Omicron” because the variant cannot be detected with normal covid tests. There are at least 127 cases of BA.2 in the United States and it has been detected in at least 57 countries. “a slight increase in growth rate over BA.1 ” W.H.O scientist Maria Kerkhove said when referring to BA.2. However the original Omicron subviarints still account for 96 percent of Omicron cases.

“I think the omicron variant is dangerous towards those who are unvaccinated with pre-existing conditions are most vulnerable, so we should keep COVID protocols,” a Carrboro High Student Bennett Whitt said. According to CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, 90% of severe cases of omicron were among unvaccinated patients.

“When it comes to stuff like sports they’re really chill about allowing you to take it off so you can actually breathe, yeah I don’t think it’s really hurting anyone and because we still have a highly infectious disease going on I think continuing to wear masks would be totally fine.”

Many schools and other facilities are dropping masks mandates. California, Washington, and Oregon will drop the mask mandate for schools on March 11th. Many counties in North Carolina such as Guilford County, Raleigh County, Wake County and Durham County have dropped mask mandates. On March 3rd the school board moved to lift the mask mandate for students outside on March 7th and the mandate for students inside on April 4th.