Officials report first confirmed case of COVID-19 omicron variant in Arizona

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Posted at 4:05 PM, Dec 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-08 23:40:14-05

PHOENIX — State health officials have reported the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in Arizona.

The first case was reported Wednesday in Yavapai County, according to officials with the Arizona Department of Health Services.

U.S. officials on Dec. 1 reported the first confirmed case of the omicron variant in the country, found in California.

As of Wednesday, Arizona has become the 22nd state to have a confirmed case of the variant, according to the CDC.

“Much remains unknown about the Omicron variant at this time, including whether it is more transmissible and more capable of producing severe illness than the Delta variant,” said Don Herrington, ADHS interim director. “We do know that current COVID-19 vaccines have remained very effective against Delta and other variants, and I strongly encourage Arizonans to get vaccinated if they aren’t already and make sure they’re current on their booster dose if they are fully vaccinated.”

U.S. health officials have said that while the omicron variant of the coronavirus is rapidly spreading in the country, early indications suggest it may be less dangerous than delta, which continues to drive a surge of hospitalizations.

President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, told CNN’s “State of the Nation” scientists need more information before drawing conclusions about omicron’s severity.

The Biden administration says Fauci also reiterated that boosters for fully vaccinated individuals provide the strongest available protection from COVID-19.

All adults are now eligible for a booster if they were vaccinated six months ago or more with Pfizer or Moderna, or two months ago or more with Johnson & Johnson. The COVID Response Team’s recommendation to all vaccinated adults is to get a booster shot as soon as possible.