Infectious disease specialist warns last-minute shoppers amid omicron spread

Experts say masks, vaccines, and boosters make a difference

It's the last shopping weekend before Christmas. News4Jax reporter Marilyn Parker has tips for people to shop safely.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Millions of last-minute shoppers are trying to get their holiday lists finished a week before Christmas-- but safely doing so could be the difference in putting a damper on your plans for the holidays.

Health experts believe that taking precautions can help prevent the omicron variant from spreading and infecting crowds of people who are out shopping.

According to the Department of Health, 70% of Floridians are fully vaccinated. The figure provides some level of comfort, as officials said that percentage is the minimum needed to prevent severe outbreaks and death from COVID-19.

Doctor Mohammed Reza, an infectious disease specialist, told News4JAX wearing a mask along with being fully vaccinated is a great form of protection, especially when having close contact with people who are not members of your household.

“(Also keep in mind) wash those hands anytime you’re touching multiple surfaces,” Reza said.

Reza is also encouraging people to get a COVID-19 booster shot because of so many things still unknown about the omicron variant.

Scientists around the world said there is a large number of worrisome mutations in the omicron that could affect how it spreads from person to person.

So far the Florida Department of Public Health said only two cases of the omicron variant have been clinically detected in Florida.


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A Florida girl and North Carolina A&T SU grad who thrives in breaking news.