EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — The world is watching and waiting for more information about the Omicron covid variant.

The variant has already prompted travel bans around the world and lots of questions about the effect the current vaccines will have against it.

They say they are concerned but not panicking.

“We are paying attention to it but at this point waiting for more information to come,” said Mayor Jeff Cusat of Hazleton.

Hazleton Mayor Cusat knows all too well the havoc COVID-19 can cause the Mountain City was a hot spot for COVID cases in the early months of the pandemic now the omicron variant is on his radar.

“We are always keeping an eye on any information that’s out there. The city is operating under cautious circumstances we implemented many changes and we stand by them,” stated Mayor Cusat.

Including recommending people coming to city hall wear masks and safety barriers put up inside city offices but Cusat says he’s doesn’t envision shutting down city hall or having employees work from home as was done when the pandemic first arrived.

Acting Luzerne County manager Romilda Crocamo says it is very much a wait-and-see approach for now.

“Well, we’ve been monitoring covid since its inception obviously we are going to be monitoring any variant. I just asking people to remain calm,” explained Crocamo.

Luzerne County has a mask mandate in place at county-owned buildings and doesn’t foresee shutting down in-person activities as was done when COVID-19 arrived in the area.

“We have to deal with it. The scientists and medical personnel have to give us. I trust in their judgment and their advice,” stated Crocamo.

the Lackawanna County commissioners tell Eyewitness News they too are monitoring the latest developments with the Omicron variant and issued a statement that reads in part.

“The county is still keeping public traffic in all our buildings to a necessary minimum, such as scheduled appointments and tax payments. Depending on how the new variant impacts the county, the commissioners will make changes and develop additional guidelines as necessary.”

Joseph A. D’Arienzo- Lackawanna County Communications Director

Eyewitness News heard the same approach from municipal and county officials across our region.