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First omicron variant cases detected in Allegheny County, officials say


COUNTY. HE SAYS IT WAS INEVITABLE. >> VIRUSES ALWAYS CHANGE OVER TIME, AND WE KNEW THAT THE VIRUS WOULD CHANGE. KYLIE: THE FIRST CASE WAS COLLECTED ON DECEMBER 7 AND CONFIRMED TO BE THE OMICRON VARIANT ON DECEMBER 22. THE SECOND CASE WAS COLLECTED DECEMBER 13 AND CONFIRMED AS OMICRON ON DECEMBER 23. DR. DON YEALY, CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER AT UPMC, ADVISES PEOPLE TO CONTINUE WEARING MASKS INDOORS, SOCIAL DISTANCING AND AVOIDING CONTACT WITH SICK PEOPLE. HE SAID ALTHOUGH IT’S NOT AS LETHAL, THIS NEW VARIANT IS MUCH EASIER TO PASS AROUND. >> I FULLY EXPECT THE NUMBERS TO INCREASE AND NOT JUST IN A FEW WEEKS. I THINK WITHIN DAYS. KYLIE COUNTY OFFICIALS SAID : YESTERDAY THAT EVIDENCE OF THE OMICRON VARIANT WAS FOUND IN WASTEWATER SAMPLES. THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT IS USING WASTEWATER SURVEILLANCE TO TRACK THE SPREAD. THE VIRUS IN WASTEWATER CAN BE A LEADING INDICATOR OF A CASE SURGE AND USED TO TRACK NEW VARIANTS. DR. YEALY SAID IF YOU START EXPERIENCING SYMPTOMS, YOU SHOULD STAY HOME AND GET TESTED, AND IF YOU CAN

First omicron variant cases detected in Allegheny County, officials say

Omicron variant confirmed in two county residents

The first two cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant have been detected in Allegheny County residents, officials announced on Thursday. Watch the report in the video player above.The county Health Department said the first, from a specimen collected from a man on Dec. 7, was confirmed to be the omicron variant on Dec. 22. The second case, also found in a man, was from a specimen collected Dec. 13 and was confirmed to be the omicron variant on Dec. 23.During the county’s COVID-19 news briefing on Wednesday, officials said evidence of the omicron variant had been found in wastewater samples. “Omicron is highly contagious and is causing daily cases to rapidly increase in other parts of the country and world,” Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen said Wednesday during the county’s regular COVID briefing. “I expect we will see a rapid rise in the omicron variant in our county in the coming days to weeks.”Bogen continues to urge people to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated, wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and getting tested when symptoms set in.The Health Department said it is using wastewater surveillance to track the spread of COVID-19 and variants such as omicron. SARS-CoV2 virus in wastewater can be a leading indicator of a case surge and can be used to track new variants.

The first two cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant have been detected in Allegheny County residents, officials announced on Thursday.

Watch the report in the video player above.

The county Health Department said the first, from a specimen collected from a man on Dec. 7, was confirmed to be the omicron variant on Dec. 22.

The second case, also found in a man, was from a specimen collected Dec. 13 and was confirmed to be the omicron variant on Dec. 23.

During the county’s COVID-19 news briefing on Wednesday, officials said evidence of the omicron variant had been found in wastewater samples.

“Omicron is highly contagious and is causing daily cases to rapidly increase in other parts of the country and world,” Health Department Director Dr. Debra Bogen said Wednesday during the county’s regular COVID briefing. “I expect we will see a rapid rise in the omicron variant in our county in the coming days to weeks.”

Bogen continues to urge people to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated, wearing masks, maintaining social distance, and getting tested when symptoms set in.

The Health Department said it is using wastewater surveillance to track the spread of COVID-19 and variants such as omicron. SARS-CoV2 virus in wastewater can be a leading indicator of a case surge and can be used to track new variants.



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