BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — UAB Medicine held a Q&A discussion Tuesday morning to discuss the latest on the recent rise in COVID-19 cases caused by the omicron variant.

Omicron was just named the most dominant variant in the US with around 73% of all cases being attributed to strain. The impact is also being felt here in Alabama with hospitalizations are up more than 50% from where they were just a month ago.

The recent spike in cases poses an even bigger obstacle for citizens as many are expected to travel for the holidays over the next two weeks. Health experts, as well as President Joe Biden, have continued to push for vaccinations. The president has also pledged 500 million free COVID-19 tests to counter the spread.

The virus has also caused major disruptions in the world of sports. Several stars in both the NBA and NFL have tested positive and missed games. The NFL has even had to postpone games and change its COVID-19 policies.

Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, the director of the UAB Division of Infectious Diseases, led the discussion and she also gave her thoughts on how the virus will impact traveling and family gatherings.

You can watch the full Q&A session in the video player abov.