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News

COVID-19: Philadelphia Resident Tests Positive For Omicron Variant

COVID-19
COVID-19 Photo Credit: Photo by Fusion Medical Animation on Unsplash

UPDATE (8:30 p.m.):  New Jersey officials announced the first detection of the Omicron variant in the state just hours after this report was published.

  • CLICK HERE to read "COVID-19: First Case Of Omicron Variant Reported In New Jersey"

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(4:55 p.m.): A day after the first case of the new COVID-19 variant was identified in a Minnesota man who traveled to New York City, a Philadelphia resident has tested positive for the Omicron COVID-19 strain.

The person is a man in his 30’s from Northwest Philadelphia, the city's health department announced Friday.

It was unclear when he tested positive, his recent travel history, or his vaccination status.

The department said it is coordinating with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to get more information on the case.

The other states rattled with Omicron cases are California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, New Jersey, and New York. 

The news has prompted health officials to warn all Philadelphia residents to take precautions, "given the possibility that this new strain may be more transmissible," they said.

This includes seriously reconsidering plans for indoor holiday gatherings and activities, the department noted.

“Since the discovery of this new variant, we have been preparing for the likelihood of an Omicron case in Philadelphia,” Mayor Jim Kenney said.

“A new variant, especially one that may be more transmissible, means that we have to stay vigilant about taking steps to protect ourselves and everyone around us. I know that this news is especially discouraging as we enter the holiday season, but we can get through this together. Now is the time to get your vaccine or booster, mask up, and take extra precautions when you are going out in public or getting together with other households.”

The World Health Organization classified Omicron as a concern on Nov. 26, and the U.S. declared the same on Nov. 30.

The first nationwide case of Omicron was confirmed on Dec. 1 in California after a person returned to San Francisco from a trip to South Africa.

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