The World Health Organization has labeled this newly discovered strain as a 'variant of concern.'By Lindsay Ward

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — President Biden will be addressing the nation on Monday, announcing the action the United States will be taking to address the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

This comes after President Biden was recently briefed on the Omicron variant by his COVID-19 Task Force in the Oval Office.

President Biden said that starting today, the United States will be restricting travel from South Africa and seven other countries.

The World Health Organization has labeled this newly discovered strain as a ‘variant of concern.’

The variant was first detected in South Africa, and the World Health Organization stresses that more research is needed to determine whether the variant is more contagious, if it causes more severe disease, and whether it could evade vaccines.

A growing number of other countries are trying to figure out how to deal with this new variant, as well.

In fact, at least a dozen countries have confirmed cases of the new strain and several others are reporting suspected cases.

Right now, around 45 countries have imposed travel restrictions from several African countries.

Dr. Anthony Fauci says it will take around two weeks to know whether the Omicron variant is resistant to current COVID-19 vaccines.

Locally, doctors have told KDKA that it’s not unusual that there is a new COVID-19 variant, as it’s common for viruses to mutate.

Doctors say right now, being vaccinated and wearing masks are two things that can be done to protect yourself.