Omicron case confirmed in Allegan County

Allegan County

ALLEGAN, Mich. (WOOD) — The Omicron variant has been found in an Allegan County resident, the first case for the county, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday.

MDHHS has notified the Allegan County Health Department that an investigation determined the resident, who was vaccinated and received a booster dose, had traveled internationally. The resident has been isolating since returning home.

“The presence of Omicron in our county is not surprising, however it stresses the importance of testing especially before and after any recent holiday gatherings,” ACHD Health Officer Angelique Joynes, MPH, RN said in a press release. “Testing helps identify infections and isolate those with COVID-19 to reduce risk of transmission.”

This announcement comes roughly three weeks after it was first detected in Michigan in a Kent County resident.

According to the CDC, the Omicron variant will likely spread more easily, but it is unclear how easily its spreads compared to the Delta variant. The CDC expects that anyone with the Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.

Pfizer says its booster vaccine will help protect against omicron. It was recently opened up to people as young as 16.

The health department asks that residents follow the following tips to help reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus and limit variants:

  • Vaccination and booster doses for those eligible
  • Test for COVID-19, especially before gatherings
  • Wear a mask in public indoor spaces
  • Social distancing from others
  • Staying home if you are sick or have symptoms
  • Isolation if you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms
  • Notify your close contacts if you test positive
  • Follow recommendations for traveling

COVID-19 rapid and PCR testing are available to individuals of any age, regardless of symptoms. The health department said there will be a testing event on Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Allegan County Transportation Building, located at 750 Airway Dr. Anyone under the age of 18 will need parent/guardian consent. Click here to register before testing. This testing event is supported by MDHHS and HONU Management Group.

For more information, visit www.allegancounty.org/covid or www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

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