Confirmed case of the omicron variant found in Minnesota, the second variant case detected in US

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Department of Health’s Public Health Laboratory has found the state’s first omicron variant COVID-19 case, according to a MDH press release.

A Minnesota resident, who recently traveled to New York City, was found to be infected with the variant, the MDH variant surveillance program discovered.

The Minnesota resident is a vaccinated male who resides in Hennepin County and experienced mild symptoms Nov. 22. The person was tested Nov. 24 and no longer has symptoms. The resident attended the Anime NYC 2021 convention Nov. 19-21. Minnesota epidemiologists are collaboratively investigating with New York City and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The U.S. reported its first case of the infectious omicron variant in California on Wednesday.

Though classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organization, more research is being done to see how omicron compares to the delta variant and responds to vaccinations and other preventative measures against COVID-19.

Stay connected:Subscribe to Coronavirus Watch, your daily update on all things COVID-19 in the USA.

Health officials urged steps to protect against COVID-19 such as vaccination and boosters, wearing masks indoors and in crowds, getting tested if symptomatic or exposed to the virus, staying home when sick, washing hands regularly, avoiding crowds, improving ventilation indoors and taking extra caution if living with or with others with medical conditions.

“Since the beginning of this pandemic, Minnesota’s nation-leading genome sequencing infrastructure and strong testing network have allowed the state to quickly track the COVID-19 virus and better understand its spread. Today, those tools detected a case of the Omicron variant in Minnesota,” Gov. Tim Walz said in the release. “This news is concerning, but it is not a surprise. We know that this virus is highly infectious and moves quickly throughout the world. Minnesotans know what to do to keep each other safe now — get the vaccine, get tested, wear a mask indoors, and get a booster. Together, we can fight this virus and help keep Minnesotans safe.”

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