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"I just want to make sure"- Travelers line up for COVID-19 testing in Washington

Hundreds waited in lines at COVID-19 testing sites in Washington on Monday ahead of expected holiday travel. 

US health officials urged Americans on Sunday to get booster shots, wear masks and be careful if they travel over the winter holidays, as the Omicron variant raged across the world and was set to take over as the dominant strain in the United States.

The government is gearing up for the next phase of battle in a two-year fight against a virus that has killed 800,000 people in the United States and disrupted every aspect of daily life.

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told CBS' "Face the Nation" that the number of Omicron cases will rise steeply in the next two weeks.

"A big message for today is if you've had vaccines and a booster, you're very well protected against Omicron causing you severe disease. So, anybody listening to this who's in that 60 percent of Americans who are eligible for a booster but haven't yet gotten one: This is the week to do it. Do not wait," he said.

Omicron is multiplying rapidly, making COVID-19 vaccinations and booster shots more crucial than ever, chief White House medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday. Currently, 27 percent of U.S. residents have not gotten even a single dose of vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Omicron has been found in 43 out of 50 US states and around 90 countries so far.

So far, U.S. officials have not urged vaccinated Americans to cancel travel plans- just to wear a mask at all times in airports, on planes, trains and buses.

(Source: Reuters) 


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