The first known case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Virginia has been detected, the Virginia Department of Health announced Thursday.
The adult patient is a resident of northwest Virginia who has not traveled internationally but did travel domestically during the exposure period, VDH said.
“We knew it was only a matter of time before we would record our first omicron infection in the commonwealth,” State Health Commissioner Dr. M. Norman Oliver said in a news release.
Residents are encouraged to get vaccinated, get a booster shot and wear a mask.
“Do your part. Get vaccinated if you are eligible. Get your booster shot if you’re eligible,” Oliver said in the news release. “Vaccination is how Virginia, the U.S. and the world will put this pandemic behind us.”
The omicron variant was first detected in Botswana and South Africa in November. It may spread more easily than other variants, including delta, which causes almost all cases of the coronavirus in the U.S.
Currently, there is no evidence omicron causes more severe disease, but people who have previously had COVID-19 could be at greater risk for reinfection from omicron.
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