By Laura Haefeli

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Visitors to downtown Sacramento were frustrated Friday by the looming possibility of another COVID-19 shutdown as the Omicron variant continues to spread.

“I’m not wearing a mask,” said Tyler Sturdivan.

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Heading to see his favorite comedian inside the Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, he may have to.

“I haven’t had COVID-19 once since it started,” Sturdivan said.

Two years into the pandemic, he’s not changing a thing.

“A lot of people don’t seem to care about their neighbor,” said Win West, a Sacramento native. “I wear masks. I got vaccinated. I got the boosters.”

As the Omicron variant spreads in California, so does concern and confusion.

“We still have a lot of questions with Omicron,” said Dr. Dean Blumberg, the chief of pediatric infectious disease at UC Davis Health. “It seems to be twice as transmissible as the Delta variant.”

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But does twice as transmissible mean twice as dangerous?

“We’re just not certain there are some suggestions that it causes less severe disease. However, the info we’re getting on that is from young healthy populations,” Dr. Blumberg said.

He says the real test will be how Omicron infects people who are more at risk of severe infection.

“Such as nursing home residents,” he said.

Blumberg explained that some research shows Omicron causes milder infections in the upper respiratory system as opposed to the more dangerous lower respiratory infections in the lungs.

But could the newest variant still force California back to its old and more restrictive ways?

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“All cards are on the table now in terms of trying to prevent the spread of COVID,” Blumberg said.