WASHINGTON — DC Health has just confirmed the District's first four cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
The four cases are unrelated. DC Health released the following information about the cases.
The first case is a woman who traveled domestically to Florida and New York. She had been fully vaccinated and was eligible for the booster vaccine but had not received it yet. DC Health Contact Trace Force has already reached out to all close contacts and has already provided them with guidance.
The second case is also a woman who traveled domestically. She visited Maryland over the Thanksgiving holiday. She had been fully vaccinated and her booster vaccine status is unknown. All close contacts have been contacted.
The third case is an adult male with no known travel. He had been fully vaccinated and his booster vaccine status is unknown. There were no known exposures or close contacts.
The fourth case is an adult female who traveled domestically during the Thanksgiving holiday to Virginia. She had been fully vaccinated and her booster vaccine status is unknown. All close contacts have been contacted and have been provided guidance by the DC Health Contact Trace Force.
The omicron variant has already been detected in both Maryland and Virginia.
On Dec. 3, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that all three of the cases in the state involve individuals from the Baltimore Metropolitan Region.
According to a Dec. 9 release from the Virginia Department of Health, an unidentified adult in the Northwest region tested positive for the variant. Officials say the person had no history of international travel but did recently travel domestically during the "exposure period."
DC Health specified that while omicron is classified by the World Health Organization as a Variant of Concern, scientists are still working to determine how it compares with the predominant delta variant in terms of transmissibility and disease severity.
"The recent emergence of the omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention strategies (e.g. masking, washing your hands frequently, choosing activities wisely, and physically distancing from others) needed to protect against COVID-19," DC Health said via press release.
"DC Health wants to restate that everyone 5 and older should get vaccinated. Anyone 16 or older who has received their second dose of Pfizer or Moderna on or before June 12, 2021 or who has received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on or before October 12, 2021 is encouraged to get a booster dose as soon as possible."
The department is also urging all District residents six months and older to get vaccinated with the flu vaccine.
Residents can get a COVID-19 vaccination in the District by doing the following:
- Go to a doctor
- Find a local pharmacy and schedule and an appointment (vaccines.gov)
- Visit a DC Government walk-up location listed on vaccinate.dc.gov
- Request a vaccination at-home by calling 1-855-363-0333
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