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Growing Omicron Variant Outbreak On The Minds Of Holiday Travelers At SFO

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The holiday rush is on at San Francisco International Airpirt, but some are feeling uneasy amid warnings of omicron cases spreading across the country and the globe.

Besia Rose is flying to New York, which is seeing the fastest spread of the omicron variant in the country.

"It makes me nervous, but I'm boosted, and my son's very good at wearing a mask so we're going, we're going to see my newborn baby brother," she said.

But she's already adjusted her vacation plans.

"I'm not seeing a friend tomorrow, because her boyfriend just tested positive but all our plans are just to stay in the house with family," she added.

SFO said this weekend it's expecting more than 50,000 travelers to fly out of the airport. It's still at least 10,000 fewer people per day during the pre-pandemic holiday weekend.

When asked what level of protection people who are doubled vaccinated and boosted against omicron, Dr. Peter Chin-Hong said:

"So we don't have full information yet, but the idea is that you're going to significantly increase your protective ability, you'll increase your armor against infection from omicron," he said. "But even with two doses, most people believe you'll be protected from serious disease, hospitalization and death."

Bay Area health officials expect more cases of omicron in the coming days and weeks based on the exponential growth in cases in Europe.

San Francisco has detected at least 30 probable cases in the city, which is likely an undercount.

"I'm a physician and I work at Stanford University, so we've kind of been at the forefront of a lot of the precautionary stuff with COVID and even from the beginning," said Karl Bruckman, who is traveling to New York. "I think that as long as your being safe and following the precautions, getting vaccinated, getting boosted, having the kids vaccinated when they can and being safe at gatherings, it's about as good as you can do."

When asked if he would travel this holiday season, Dr. Chin-Hong said:

"I would have no problems traveling domestically, but I probably wouldn't travel internationally, if I had a choice at this moment," he said.

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