MILWAUKEE — As the Omicron coronavirus variant spreads across the United States, and while health officials monitor an uptick of COVID-19 cases as we head into the holiday season, there's heightened awareness surrounding the still lingering pandemic.
"I've seen a couple people myself that COVID took a toll on and that was just that variant. Who knows what this new variant will do," said Tequnda Goggans, a business owner at Sherman Phoenix in Milwaukee.
From the city of Milwaukee to the suburbs, people are concerned.
"The concern is like, are people going to get misinformation and then it's going to become super frantic," said Kayla Lund, a Sherman Phoenix Customer.
"I'm worried. I am worried. I'm not panicked but I am worried," said Linda Willms, who was grocery shopping in Grafton.
"I guess I am aware of it, but I'm vaccinated. I'm going to get my booster next Monday and life goes on," said Sue Kannenberg, another shopper in Grafton.
The reaction and the concern shows the uncertainty that still exists as we wait to learn more about Omicron. People across Southeast Wisconsin say they're monitoring information daily, making decisions about whether to travel, get their booster shots, or carry on with upcoming holiday events.
Now, as both information and misinformation spread quickly, health care officials are urging people to stay focused on facts, to seek answers to any questions they might have, and to get vaccinated.
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Alison Sergio, Executive Director of Health Care Network Incorporated in Racine County, says answering those questions and offering vaccines is the main goal of pop-up vaccine clinics being hosted.
"Every time there's a new variant, we see an uptick in people looking for information and looking to get the vaccine," said Sergio.
She and her team have partnered with the City of Racine to host these clinics in new spots throughout the community. TMJ4 News visited one at a Piggly Wiggly Supermarket.
"It's confusing. There's a lot of information about COVID-19 and the vaccine - right and wrong - and we're trying to dispel the myths and also bring the care to places where the people are," Sergio said.
It's just one solution that is helping plug holes in the community by increasing vaccinations and shutting down false information, during a time when uncertainty is on the rise with the pandemic not yet showing signs of coming to an end.