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Omicron variant found by NC-based lab, but not yet confirmed in state residents

Mako staffers run positive test samples through multiple machines in a 48-hour genomic sequencing process.

HENDERSON, N.C. — Although no infections by the coronavirus' omicron variant have been confirmed to have sickened anyone in North Carolina, the COVID-19 variant has been found in a growing number of states.

A Mako Medical lab in Henderson, North Carolina, which analyzes 100,000 virus tests from 43 states every week, has identified four omicron cases in the past week. Those cases were from Colorado, Georgia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.

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Mako staffers run positive test samples through multiple machines in a 48-hour genomic sequencing process to determine which of the virus variants are circulating where.

“We’ll be able to tell which variant belongs to each sample, and we’ll have all that information in our tracking system as to what patient that was, what state they are from and all that," Lauren Moon, Mako's sequencing manager, said Wednesday.

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