Omicron subvariant BA.2: Health officials call it 'variant of concern'

The subvariant omicron BA.2 has health officials’ attention, just as COVID restrictions have eased up. It has been classified as a "variant of concern," according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). This variant is also called "stealth" omicron because its genetic mutations could make it difficult to distinguish from the delta variant using PCR tests as compared to the original version of omicron, according to the American Medical Association. 

US Capitol ditches mask requirement ahead of State of the Union

Face coverings are now optional for President Joe Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday, as Congress is lifting its mask requirement on the House floor after federal regulators eased guidelines last week in a rethinking of the nation's strategy to adapt to living with a more manageable COVID-19.