TOPEKA (KSNT) – With the final holidays of the year right around the corner, how concerned should your holiday party be of the latest variant? KSNT reached out to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment to find out.

The uncertainty with the new variant has been an issue since it was detected in late November.

“With omicron what we’re hearing is we aren’t sure if the disease is less severe than delta or not. We think it may be similar to delta. What we know though is it is much more transmissible than delta,” KDHE Deputy State Health Officer Joan Duwve said.

Omicron is leaving health officials worried about the final weeks of 2021.

 “What we’re expecting is as families travel and gather together celebrating the holidays especially with the infectious omicron variant we are expecting to see a spike. This may happen over the holidays between Christmas and New Year’s,” Duwve said.

 The good news? Omicron can be fought with one of the tools we have against fighting the virus – vaccines.

“If you’ve received one dose of vaccine get that second dose, and if you’ve received two doses of the vaccine get that booster shot. Really the best way to stay safe to prevent hospitalization from COVID from the omicron variant and from the delta variant is to be vaccinated,” Duwve said.