KISS frontman Paul Stanley says that he and his family have all contracted omicron, the dominant strain of coronavirus in the U.S.
Sunday night (December 26),Stanley took to his Instagram to share what appears to be a selfie and he included the following message: "My Omicron face! Yup. My entire family has it. I'm tired and have sniffles. Most of my family have absolutely no symptoms. Do as you choose. I'm so glad I'm vaccinated."
The highly contagious omicron variant has quickly become the most common form of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for 73% of all cases, according to federal officials.
Based on early studies, those who are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines are far less likely to be admitted to hospital with the omicron variant than the previous delta strain. However, the higher transmissibility of omicron means the risk of health systems being overloaded during the winter period is still quite high.
"It is clear that if you're vaccinated, particularly if you've had a booster, omicron tends to produce milder infections," Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, told NBC News.
"What we haven't seen yet is a substantial body of information about what omicron will do in unvaccinated people," he added.
This is apparently at least the second time that Stanley has contracted COVID-19, having previously tested positive in August, forcing KISS to postpone a string of shows. A few days later, KISS announced that bassist Gene Simmons had also tested positive for the virus. As a result, the band postponed four more concerts.
Back in March, Stanley told AXS TV's "At Home And Social" that he was "so excited and so thankful" to receive his second COVID-19 vaccine. "I'd like [to see] everybody just get back to a normal life," he said at the time. "It's been devastating for so many people. For us who are inconvenienced, it's minor compared to what some people have gone through."
Stanley also criticized people who were defiantly skeptical of mask wearing, saying they were posing a risk to themselves and to all those around them.
"Part of the problem is that we haven't adhered properly to what should be common sense restrictions," he said. "And as long as there are people who are negating what's being told to them, this [coronavirus crisis] is gonna extend further.
"We're supposed to be a community. And if there's the slightest possibility that it would be the right thing to do, shouldn't you do it?" he asked rhetorically.
Last month, Simmons blasted people who are skeptical of COVID-19 vaccines, calling them "delusional" and the "enemy" and saying they are posing a risk to themselves and to all those around them.
In October, Rolling Stone magazine published a story in which a group of KISS roadies suggested that the lack of COVID protocols enforced on the band's "End Of The Road" farewell tour led to the death of a longtime guitar tech, 53-year-old Francis Stueber. Stueber died of coronavirus in his Detroit hotel room on October 17, just two days after being quarantined. The crew members claimed the tour didn't take strict enough safety measures, including not testing everyone regularly. In addition, some crew members allegedly disguised their illness and/or faked vaccine cards.
In a statement, the KISS members said that they were "profoundly heartbroken" by the passing of Stueber, but added, "We are now aware there were crew members who attempted to conceal signs of illness, and when it was discovered, refused medical attention…. Furthermore, it has recently been brought to our attention that certain crew members may have provided fake vaccination cards which, if true, we find morally reprehensible (as well as illegal),putting the entire tour in harm's way."