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COVID-19 omicron variant confirmed in Idaho

The state's first confirmed case of the variant is in Ada County. Central District Health said that person experienced "very mild symptoms," and was vaccinated.
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BOISE, Idaho — Central District Health announced Friday that it has confirmed Idaho's first COVID-19 case with the omicron variant.

The variant was found in a clinical lab sample from an Ada County resident who recently reported out-of-state travel.

Central District Health said in a news release that the infected person is over the age of 50 and experienced "very mild symptoms, likely due to being fully vaccinated."

The omicron variant was reported to the World Health Organization on Nov. 24, after it was first detected in specimens collected earlier the same month in South Africa and Botswana, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The first confirmed U.S. omicron case was reported Dec. 1, and has been confirmed in several other states in the nine days since then.

While the new omicron variant has been making headlines in recent days, the CDC says the delta variant remains the main variant circulating in the U.S.

Like delta, the omicron variant is highly transmissible, Central District Health officials warn.

"Many Idahoans regularly travel this time of year, and we need to remember to continue to take precautions, including receiving your vaccine or vaccine booster if you have not done so already," said Lindsay Haskell, Communicable Disease Control Manager for CDH.

In the U.S. the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is authorized for persons five years of age and older.

A total of 371 new confirmed or probable COVID-19 cases were reported in Idaho Friday, and Ada County remains at a high level of community transmission. Public health officials recommend that all eligible Idahoans receive the vaccine, and that all adults who've been vaccinated receive a booster dose when eligible.

CDH recommends other mitigation measures such as wearing face coverings in crowded public places, testing after exposure and, when ill, remain home, regardless of vaccination status.

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