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BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) –  Ochsner Health officials are encouraging individuals to receive their COVID-19 booster shots as more information about Omicron arrives.

Local health leaders reacted to the newest COVID-19 variant on Monday.

On Tuesday, Ochsner Health held a briefing about the newest COVID-19 variant and the flu. These individuals took part in the discussion:

  • Dr. Katherine Baumgarten, Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention, Ochsner Health
  • Dr. Sandra Kemmerly, System Medical Director of Hospital Quality, Ochsner Health
  • Dr. Amy Feehan, Ph.D., Research Scientist, Ochsner Health

Health officials encourage taking precautions such as masking, social distancing and hand-washing. Dr. Baumgarten said those who are traveling during the holidays should take precautions by testing for COVID-19.

Dr. Kemmerly acknowledges the “angst” people are feeling as news about Omicron spreads but said it’s not time to panic. She encourages individuals to get their boosters and asks parents to consider getting their children vaccinated.

Health officials within the state and worldwide are still receiving data on the new variant. Prospective and retrospective sequencing is taking place right now, according to Dr. Feehan.

To schedule a vaccine appointment, visit ochsner.org/vaccineinfo.