Update on Omicron COVID-19 variant from Tennessee Dept. of Health

NASHVILLE (WDEF) – Officials confirmed the first confirmed case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the United States on Wednesday.

A California native returning from South Africa has tested positive for it.

The person was vaccinated.

The victim has had mild symptoms, which are improving but they are in quarantine.

There are also cases reported today in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.

Scientists are still working on whether the new variant is really more infectious, but South Africa reported today that their Covid-19 cases have just doubled in one day.

Meanwhile, here in Tennessee, health officials aren’t ready to hit the panic button.

Here is their statement released today:

We are monitoring the situation closely. Dr. Piercey has been briefed by both the CDC and White House within the last 48 hours. There are no confirmed cases of the omicron variant in Tennessee. There is routine variant surveillance via sample sequencing of COVID-positive tests but it is worth noting not all COVID-positive tests are sequenced.

As always, the most effective tool against any variant, including the Omicron variant, is the vaccine. There is no indication at this time that this variant has any more virulence or vaccine resistance than the Delta variant. Tennesseans can find more information on getting their first dose or their booster by visiting www.covid19.tn.gov. The CDC recently revised guidance on booster doses. Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J&J vaccine.

Categories: COVID-19, Health, Regional News