Omicron variant detected in Ohio


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As statewide hospitalizations hit the highest point in Ohio since January, the Ohio Department of Health announced on Saturday that the omicron variant was detected in Ohio.

The Ohio Department of Health said a pair of cases were detected in two adult men in Central Ohio. Both of the men tested positive on Dec. 7.

“We have known that it would only be a matter of time until a case of Omicron was detected in Ohio. The CDC believes that this variant has likely been circulating in the U.S. since November,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA. “This variant’s arrival and the continued impact of the Delta variant underscore the importance of our best prevention tool, which is choosing to be vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines, coupled with prevention measures, provide the greatest protection from severe illness resulting in hospitalization or death. If you have not yet been vaccinated, or are eligible for a booster dose, now is the time to go and get your shot.”

Both of the men had received an initial Covid-19 vaccine dose more than six months ago, but ODH said neither one of them had received a booster shot.

Officials said both of the men are experiencing mild symptoms and have not been hospitalized. Neither of them has a history of international travel.

The first case of the omicron variant was detected the week of Thanksgiving in South Africa. The first one in the United States was detected a few days later in California.