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Omicron variant not stopping travelers this holiday season

Posted at 7:47 PM, Dec 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 19:47:42-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare announced on Dec. 21 that six cases of the omicron variant had been identified in Leon County. While some are concerned, many people aren't letting it stop their holiday travel plans.

Tallahassee International Airport is seeing an increase of travelers similar to pre-COVID-19 numbers back in 2019, according to Deputy Director of Aviation for Tallahassee International Airport Jim Durwin.

"It's great to see especially during this time of year," Durwin said. "I mean it's so touching to see families that haven't seen each other in a while."

During the peak of the pandemic, it was difficult for loved ones to see each other and traveling wasn't an option.

Durwin said having this increase in travel brings him joy.

"That's one of the things I love about working in airports," Durwin explained. "Airports are very emotional places where there's a lot of emotion for people flying out or coming in."

With COVID-19 concerns remaining high Durwin said Tallahassee International Airport has safety protocols in place.

Doctors like TMH Emergency Medicine Physician Alex Ho said they are prepared for the omicron variant in Leon County.

"I think that it's expected we know that the virus transmits easily amongst the population, Dr. Ho said. "It was just a matter of time before it gets detected in our community and in the states."

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare also recommends everyone get tested if they are traveling and if their unvaccinated to be careful.

The hospital also recommends everyone get vaccinated. Those who aren't, have a higher risk of getting sick.