WATCH: White House COVID-19 task force holds briefing as omicron cases emerge

The White House COVID-19 task force is expected to update reporters about the nation’s pandemic response as a growing number of cases of the new omicron variant are confirmed in the United States.

Watch the briefing stream live in the video player above at 11 a.m. ET.

This week, California confirmed the nation’s first omicron case, and more cases were soon reported in Minnesota, New York, Colorado and Hawaii. Since the World Health Organization designated omicron as a “variant of concern,” in part because of its apparent ability to reinfect people, public health officials had said it would be a matter of time before omicron appeared in the U.S.

As a result, the Biden administration has ramped up testing protocols for travelers who wish to enter the U.S. from abroad. That policy developed amid criticism against the White House for adopting travel bans against South Africa and other nations that had been transparent in reporting the variant to alert the global community in the first place.