There's a new coronavirus variant circulating. Here's what you can do to stay safe

Wearing a mask is one of the most effective things you can do to protect yourself and others from the coronavirus.

(CNN)As the world waits to learn how the Omicron variant might impact the global Covid-19 pandemic, it's easy to get caught up in the unknowns. Instead, health officials are reminding us of the simple yet effective tools we all have to combat the virus.

Here's a refresher on how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

    Get vaccinated

      Getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you. Vaccines are readily available across the US and many Americans are now eligible for a booster shot.
      "Get your vaccine, get your booster," Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told CNN. "It's the best chance we've got to drive this Covid-19 pandemic away."
      Vaccines have proven to be safe and effective at reducing severe Covid-19 cases.

        Wear a mask properly

        It's simple, but wearing a mask properly is one of the most important ways you can protect yourself and those around you, health experts say.
        N95 masks offer the best protection. Washable, breathable cloth masks will do the job, but they should have at least two layers -- three are better -- and you can add a filter for more protection.
        Masks should cover both your nose and mouth, and should fit snugly, with no gaps.