WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — President Joe Biden’s Chief Medical Advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci announced on Wednesday that the United States has its first case of the new omicron variant of COVID-19.

“We knew that it was just a matter of time,” Fauci said.

The individual recently returned from South Africa to California and was fully vaccinated.

“We feel good that this patient not only had mild symptoms but actually the symptoms appear to be improving,” Fauci said.

Fauci says this should further encourage Americans to protect themselves.

“Get vaccinated if you’re not already vaccinated. Get boosted if you’ve been vaccinated,” Fauci said.

In the face of the new developments, the CDC and Biden are considering the possibilities of new protocols in the coming days.

“Not with shutdowns or lockdowns, but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more,” the president said.

Fauci says the administration will observe the data over the next few weeks and decide how to proceed.

“We’re gonna get that information,” Fauci said.

But he says Americans already know how to stay safe during the holidays.

“With family that you know is vaccinated, people that you know, you can feel safe with not wearing a mask and having your dinner, having a reception,” Fauci said.