Health officials confirm first case of omicron variant in Michigan

First omicron variant confirmed in Kent County
Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 5:49 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 10:00 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday afternoon of the first confirmed case of the coronavirus omicron variant in a Kent County resident.

“We are concerned, although not surprised, about the discovery of the omicron variant in Michigan. We continue to urge Michiganders ages 5 and up to get vaccinated and continue participating in measures we know slow the spread of the virus by wearing well-fitting masks properly, socially distancing, avoiding crowds, washing their hands often and testing for COVID-19,” said MDHHS director Elizabeth Hertel. “Vaccines are our best defense against the virus and how we can manage the spread of COVID-19.”

State officials said the initial detection of the COVID case was reported to the Michigan Disease Surveillance System on Dec. 3. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed it was the omicron variant following genetic sequencing.

“The identification of the omicron variant is not unexpected,” says Dr. Adam London, Kent County Health Department Director. “We are fortunate that we have effective, safe and available vaccines that can protect us from this illness. We continue to urge people to get their vaccine and to get their boosters as soon as they are eligible.”

As of Dec. 8, 2021, Michigan has 1,368,541 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 24,845 COVID-related deaths.

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