TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Seven cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 have surfaced at UArizona.
🚨— Michael Worobey (@MichaelWorobey) December 21, 2021
As part of a surveillance study I lead, I have just assembled a SARS-CoV-2 genome that is the first omicron case within the @uarizona community.
This is a fast moving variant: safe to assume it is already spreading quickly. Let's all do what we can now to slow its spread.
According to the university, researchers used genomic testing at the UArizona Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology to identify the cases at 3:30 a.m. today.
The tests came from a saline gargle gPCR test.
The first case in Pima County was discovered Dec. 16.
Omicron is spreading rapidly overseas and in other parts of the country. Pima County Health Director Theresa Cullen estimated that it could be twice as contagious—or more—than the Delta variant.
UArizona is conducting contact tracing and contacting those who came into contact with those who tested positive.