Kent County resident is 1st Omicron case in Michigan: state

December 9, 2021 GMT

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan’s first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been identified in a Kent County resident, the state Department of Health and Human Services and Kent County Health Department said Thursday.

The Omicron variant was classified as one of concern by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 30. Variants of concern show evidence of being more contagious, causing more severe illness or resistance to diagnostics, treatments or vaccines.

“We are concerned, although not surprised, about the discovery of the Omicron variant in Michigan,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of the state health agency. “We continue to urge Michiganders ages 5 and up to get vaccinated and continue participating in measures we know slow the spread of the virus.”

The initial detection of the COVID-19 case was reported to the Michigan Disease Surveillance System on Dec. 3. The CDC notified notified the state Thursday that it was the Omicron variant following genetic sequencing conducted and reported by a commercial laboratory.

Cases of the omicron variant have been reported in more than 20 states.

Vaccine records indicate the Kent County adult was fully vaccinated but had not received a booster dose.

MDHHS is coordinating with the Kent County Health Department on the ongoing investigation of the case. Public health follow-up will include an assessment of the potential for out-of-state exposure, compliance with isolation guidance and outreach to close contacts.