The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has officially arrived in our area. City officials just announced that a man in his 30s from Northwest Philadelphia has tested positive for the Omicron variant of the virus.

Neither the condition of the man nor his vaccination status was immediately made clear. It also wasn't immediately clear if the man had recently traveled.

This marks the first case in the state of Pennsylvania. Thus far cases have been confirmed in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nebraska, and New York.

Reconsider Your Indoor Holiday Gatherings, Officials Say

And Philadelphia officials are now warning the city's residents about the effect of the Omicron variant on the upcoming holiday season.

They're urging caution for the entire city as the strain "may be more transmissible." Included in those recommendations is a concern for the upcoming holiday season. They're urging residents to "seriously reconsider plans for indoor holiday gatherings and activities."

"Now is the time to start thinking about how our actions can affect those we love around us," Philadelphia's Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said in Friday's statement.

Both Philadelphia's Mayor Jim Kenney and Philadelphia's Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole stressed the importance of taking precautions including masking up, vaccines and boosters, and more.

"Don't assume that staying six feet from others indoors or wearing a cloth mask alone will be enough to protect you against Omicron," Bettigole said on Friday.

Answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

Vaccinations for COVID-19 began being administered in the U.S. on Dec. 14, 2020. The quick rollout came a little more than a year after the virus was first identified in November 2019. The impressive speed with which vaccines were developed has also left a lot of people with a lot of questions. The questions range from the practical—how will I get vaccinated?—to the scientific—how do these vaccines even work?

Keep reading to discover answers to 25 common COVID-19 vaccine questions.


LOOK: Here Are 30 Foods That Are Poisonous to Dogs

To prepare yourself for a potential incident, always keep your vet's phone number handy, along with an after-hours clinic you can call in an emergency. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center also has a hotline you can call at (888) 426-4435 for advice.

Even with all of these resources, however, the best cure for food poisoning is preventing it in the first place. To give you an idea of what human foods can be dangerous, Stacker has put together a slideshow of 30 common foods to avoid. Take a look to see if there are any that surprise you.