1st Georgia resident tests positive for COVID-19 omicron variant

Georgia News

FILE – James Robson, a biomedical engineering graduate student, holds a swab and specimen vial in the new COVID-19, on-campus testing lab, Thursday, July 23, 2020, at Boston University in Boston. The United States has improved its surveillance system for tracking new coronavirus variants such as omicron, boosting its capacity by tens of thousands of samples since early 2021. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Georgia resident has now tested positive for the new omicron variant of the coronavirus, the state health department announced Friday.

The resident — who was fully vaccinated — recently traveled from South Africa to Georgia, where they stayed for two days before heading to New Jersey, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).

Testing was performed in New Jersey, and the individual remains isolated there at this time.

DPH said at this time, no additional omicron cases have been identified in Georgia, though contact tracing is underway to identify close contacts.

DPH Commissioner Dr. Kathleen Toomey released the following statement on the detection:

Vaccination and boosters are key to preventing further transmission of COVID-19 and help
prevent new variants like omicron from emerging. Only 51% of Georgians are fully vaccinated and of those individuals, less than 20% have received booster doses.

Early data suggests omicron appears to be more contagious than the delta variant.

According to the DPH, studies show that after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time.

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