First case of omicron variant confirmed in Virginia

December 9, 2021 GMT

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — The omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus has been identified in a Virginia resident, the first case to be reported in the state, health officials said Thursday.

In a news release, the Virginia Department of Health said the variant was identified in a sample from an adult resident of northwest Virginia who had no history of international travel, but did have a history of domestic travel during the exposure period. The news release didn’t disclose the person’s condition or any additional details.

A commercial laboratory identified the omicron variant in a sample from a Virginia resident and promptly notified the state heath department. With combined state and national surveillance efforts, the department said it is likely that additional cases of the omicron variant will be identified.

Before the latest case in Virginia, the omicron variant had been detected in 21 U.S. states or jurisdictions, according to the news release.

The omicron variant was first identified in Botswana and South Africa in November and may spread more easily than other variants, including delta, the health department said.