Photos: Travel and testing ramp up as Omicron surge hits California during the holidays
Liam Risinger, 8, center, shown with brother Zakary, 13, and mother, Heather, as they pick up their father, Karl Risinger, who has been away for two-and-a-half months working in Canada, at Los Angeles International Airport.
What happens when you have a surging Omicron variant and a busy travel season?
As many as 3.5 million people are projected to travel through Los Angeles International Airport from Dec. 16-Jan. 3, according to airport officials, making it the busiest travel period this year. By many accounts, airlines and airports have not absorbed the rebound very well so far, with staffing shortages, shifting safety protocols and rowdy passengers bogging down travel.
Now, with the Omicron variant spreading quickly and many travelers determined to forge ahead with holiday plans, months of preparation by airlines and airport staff will face a test at large airports such as LAX.
Testing is also ramping up as families and friend get together over the Christmas holidays.
“Rapidly, Omicron is overtaking Delta. I would say within the next two weeks, it’s almost all going to Omicron.”
— Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer
“We are experiencing the surge that we have been anticipating was coming.”
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