VIRGINIA (WDVM) — As we enter our second holiday season with the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us may be wondering if it’s safe to start getting together and traveling to see family again.

WDVM spoke with Virginia State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., about staying safe at holiday gatherings, as the emergence of the omicron variant creates new uncertainty.

Although there are only two reported cases of the omicron variant in the state, and not much is known about the virus, Dr. Oliver says residents should remain vigilant.

“What little we do know indicates that it may be more transmissible, which means that it spreads faster between people,” said Oliver. “The severity of the disease appears to be mild, but that’s not clear yet.”

With the delta variant as the most common strain of COVID-19 in the state, many are asking what precautions they can take.

“When you are gathering, try to gather in a small group. The most important thing people can do to keep themselves safe during the holiday season is to get vaccinated, so if you haven’t, please go out and do so,” said Oliver.

Oliver says those who have been vaccinated should also receive a booster.

“We know that increases your immunity from all the variants of COVID-19 variants out there,” said Oliver.

Oliver says pharmacies are distributing the most vaccine, and recommends contacting your local pharmacy. For more information on vaccinations, visit the Virginia Department of Health’s website.