Omicron Is Here. What That Means For The Winter : Consider This from NPR It was only a matter of time before cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant started popping up in the U.S., and now, it's here. Although it's too early to tell how this virus strain will spread, the threat it poses has already lit a fire under public health messaging.

President Biden announced a new strategy to avoid a winter surge of cases that involves free at-home testing, a vaccine booster messaging campaign and heightened international travel safeguards.

Meanwhile, the race is on to detect how omicron is already spreading in this country. NPR reporter Will Stone gives us a look into what's happening in labs right now across the country.

And Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, discusses what we know about how effective travel bans are scenarios like this.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

Omicron Is Here. What That Means For The Winter

Omicron Is Here. What That Means For The Winter

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A registered nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine into the arm of a woman at the Corona High School gymnasium in the Riverside County city of Corona, California. Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

A registered nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine into the arm of a woman at the Corona High School gymnasium in the Riverside County city of Corona, California.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

It was only a matter of time before cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant started popping up in the U.S., and now, it's here. Although it's too early to tell how this virus strain will spread, the threat it poses has already lit a fire under public health messaging.

President Biden announced a new strategy to avoid a winter surge of cases that involves free at-home testing, a vaccine booster messaging campaign and heightened international travel safeguards.

Meanwhile, the race is on to detect how omicron is already spreading in this country. NPR reporter Will Stone gives us a look into what's happening in labs right now across the country.

And Saad Omer, director of the Yale Institute for Global Health, discusses what we know about how effective travel bans are scenarios like this.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment that will help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced Lee Hale. It was edited by Ashley Brown, Jonaki Mehta and Joe Neel. Our executive producer is Cara Tallo.