First Mass. Case Of COVID-19 Omicron Variant Has Been Detected

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BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Massachusetts Department of Public Health confirmed Saturday afternoon that the first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in the state.

In a statement to WBZ NewsRadio, the MDPH said that the individual is a woman in her 20's and a resident of Middlesex County who recently traveled out of state. The woman is showing mild symptoms of the disease, is fully vaccinated, and does not require hospitalization, the MDPH said.

The Omicron variant was identified through genetic sequencing performed at New England Biolabs.

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"There is some limited evidence that Omicron could be more transmissible than other COVID-19 virus variants, including Delta," the MDPH said. Officials said that known information about the Omicron variant has been posted on the Center for Disease Control's website.

The MDPH also urged residents to use MassNotify, a service that can be accessed through Android and iPhone smartphone settings. The service is private and anonymously notifies users if they have been potentially exposed to COVID-19. More information on MassNotify can be found here.

WBZ's Mike Macklin reports.

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