The Tuscarawas County Health Department announced Wednesday morning that they were notified that the first case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant had been confirmed in Tuscarawas County following genomic sequencing by the Cleveland Clinic Laboratory in Cleveland.

According to the health department, the Omicron case was detected in an adult from Tuscarawas County who had recent out-of-state travel history to New York City and began experiencing symptoms on November 27.

The positive case had been fully vaccinated but had not yet obtained a booster, according to health officials.

The case experienced only mild COVID-19 symptoms and has been released from the isolation/contagious period. Contact tracing has already been conducted.

“While the evidence of an Omicron case in Tuscarawas County is noteworthy, the Delta variant continues as the driving force behind the increase in COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations in county residents,” explained Katie Seward, Tuscarawas County Health Commissioner. “The arrival of Omicron and the continued impact of the Delta variant highlight the importance of our best prevention tool, which is choosing to get vaccinated. In addition to being vaccinated and getting the booster*, the keys to staying safe in the face of COVID-19 remain masking, keeping our distance, hand hygiene, good ventilation, and avoiding crowds. These same safety measures will also help reduce the current influx of patients experienced by local hospitals.”