Omicron Variant

Omicron Variant in the U.S.: Where it's Been Detected, And What we Know About Each Case

So far, the omicron variant has been detected in 19 states across the country

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Like so many doctors across the world, UIC’s Dr. Richard Novak is working to learn as much as possible about the new omicron COVID variant. The biggest question is if our current vaccines offer protection. NBC 5’s Lexi Sutter reports.

So far, the omicron variant has been detected in several states across the country. Here are the states that have reported confirmed cases as of Dec. 7, 2021.

California

In the US, the first confirmed case was reported Wednesday Dec. 1, in a vaccinated traveler who returned to California after a trip to South Africa.

“We knew it was just a matter of time before the first case of omicron would be detected in the United States,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the United States’ top infectious-disease expert, made the announcement at the White House.

The infected person was identified as a traveler who had returned from South Africa on Nov. 22, developed mild symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19 Monday. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco obtained a sample from the patient Tuesday evening and worked feverishly overnight to assemble the genetic sequence.

Colorado

Thursday, Dec. 2, Colorado confirmed its first case.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the woman recently traveled to Africa has mild symptoms and has been isolated at home. She was fully vaccinated but had yet to receive the booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Connecticut

Saturday, Dec. 4, Gov. Lamont confirmed Connecticut's first case of the omicron variant.

According to a news release from the governor's office, "the case involves a man in his 60s from Hartford County who developed mild symptoms on November 27. An at-home COVID-19 test was positive on November 29 and a subsequent molecular test was positive on December 1. A family member traveled to New York City between November 17 and November 22 to attend the Anime NYC 2021 convention at the Javits Center. That family member developed mild symptoms on November 21, and on November 23 took an at-home COVID-19 test that delivered a positive result. The family member’s symptoms have resolved. COVID-19 testing on additional family members is pending. The affected individual and their family member are fully vaccinated."

Georgia

The Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed on Dec. 3 the first case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant in the state.

The individual recently traveled from South Africa and developed mild symptoms and subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

The individual is isolating at home and contact tracing is underway to identify close contacts at risk of infection.

Hawaii

Thursday, Dec. 2, the state of Hawaii confirmed that it detected the omicron variant in a COVID-19 positive case.

The individual is an O‘ahu resident with moderate symptoms who had previously been infected with COVID-19, but was never vaccinated.

The World Health Organization said Wednesday the omicron COVID variant, first discovered in South Africa, has been found in 23 countries across the world.

Louisiana

Friday, Dec. 3, the Louisiana Health Department reported its first probably case of the omicron variant in the state. The case involves an individual in Region 1, the Greater New Orleans area, who recently traveled within the United States.

It is not clear whether the person had been vaccinated

Maryland

Friday, Dec. 3, Maryland confirmed three people from the Baltimore metro area tested positive for omicron.

Two of the people are from the same household, a vaccinated person who had recently traveled to South Africa and a close contact of that person who was unvaccinated. The third case was in a vaccinated person who had no known recent travel history, according to state officials.

"None of the three individuals are hospitalized," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a press release.

Massachusetts

Saturday, Dec. 4, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health announced the state's first omicron coronavirus case.

The infected person is a female in her 20s who traveled out of the state. Officials said she is fully vaccinated, experienced mild disease and did not require hospitalization.

Minnesota

Thursday, Dec. 2, the first Midwest case of the omicron COVID variant was been confirmed in Minnesota, the state's health department said Thursday, via a specimen from a resident "with recent travel history to New York City."

According to health officials, the person developed mild symptoms on Nov. 22 and was tested for COVID on Nov. 24. He reported traveling to New York City and attended the Anime NYC 2021 convention from Nov. 19-21 at the Javits Center.

The health department said Minnesota epidemiologists will continue to investigate alongside New York City and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Mississippi

Dec. 6, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reported the first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the state.

The case is in a fully vaccinated individual who recently traveled to New York. The patient was not hospitalized.

Missouri

Friday, Dec. 3, a St. Louis resident with recent domestic travel history was presumed positive for omicron, the Missouri state health department said Friday. The sample was sequenced by a commercial lab and is awaiting confirmation by the CDC.

The Missouri state health department did not provide information on the individual's age, vaccination history or symptoms.

Nebraska

Friday, Dec. 3, Nebraska officials confirmed six infections after a traveler returned from Nigeria and apparently infected five members of their household.

The individual returned from Nigeria on Nov. 23 and became symptomatic on Nov. 24, according to a press release from the Public Health Solutions District Health Department.

New Jersey

The New Jersey Department of Health has confirmed a case of omicron in a traveler from Georgia who was recently in South Africa. The adult woman, who is fully vaccinated, experienced moderate symptoms and is now recovering after receiving care in an emergency department in northern New Jersey, according to state health officials.

New York

Thursday, Dec. 2, New York officials confirmed 5 cases of the omicron variant in the New York City metropolitan area, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced late Thursday.

One case was discovered in Suffolk County on Long Island and four New York City: two in Queens, one in Brooklyn and another in the city, she said at a press briefing. 

As of Saturday morning, a total of seven New York City residents and one from Suffolk County are confirmed to have the omicron variant.

Pennsylvania

Friday, Dec. 3, a man in his 30s from northwest Philadelphia tested positive for omicron, city officials confirmed. Philadelphia's health department said it is working to get more information on the case.

Texas

A Houston-area woman has been confirmed as having the first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Texas, state health officials reported Monday.

The woman is in her 40s and had no recent travel history, according to reports from the AP.

Utah

Friday, Dec. 3, Utah confirmed its first case of the omicron variant, public health officials announced. Officials said the individual who tested positive was an older adult who recently returned home to Utah after traveling to South Africa.

The person is fully vaccinated and showed only mild symptoms. They received monoclonal antibody treatment.

Wisconsin

Saturday, Dec. 4, the second Midwest case of the omicron coronavirus variant was confirmed in Wisconsin in a resident with "recent travel history to South Africa," the state's health department said.

The person with the new variant is an adult man, according to the health department, who is a resident of Milwaukee County and recently returned from a trip to South Africa.

Wisconsin health officials said the man was fully vaccinated against the virus and received a booster shot. He reported mild symptoms and has not required hospitalization.

Washington

Saturday, Dec. 4 the Washington State Health Department confirmed a total of three cases of the omicron variant in the state, in Thurston County, Pierce County, and King County.

The patients range in age from 20 to 39, two men, one woman.

Where else has the Omicron variant been detected?

The World Health Organization said Wednesday the omicron COVID variant, first discovered in South Africa, has been found in a number of countries across the world (note this map will continue to be updated as the situation develops).