VIRGINIA, USA — Officials with the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) have announced the discovery of the first confirmed case of the SARS-CoV-2 omicron variant in the Commonwealth.
According to a release from VDH, an unidentified adult in the Northwest Region of Virginia has tested positive for the variant. Officials say the person has no history of international travel but did recently travel domestically during the "exposure period."
“We knew it was only a matter of time before we would record our first Omicron infection in the Commonwealth,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “This drives home the challenge the COVID-19 virus presents to the world as the virus changes and mutates over time. Scientists are hard at work studying the newly identified variant to understand how easily it spreads and how sick it makes people. Right now, the highly transmissible Delta variant is causing almost all cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. We have very effective vaccines that can interrupt the chain of transmission and reduce the odds that unpredictable mutations like the Delta and Omicron variants will emerge. Do your part. Get vaccinated if you are eligible. Get your booster shot if you’re eligible. Vaccination is how Virginia, the U.S. and the world will put this pandemic behind us.”
As of December 9, the omicron variant has been found in 21 other U.S. states or jurisdictions, according to health officials.
Gov. Larry Hogan announced that three people in Maryland are infected with the omicron variant. They are all from the Baltimore area.