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Omicron variant detected in Ga. resident; currently in N.J.

Update on COVID-19
Update on COVID-19(Gray Television)
Published: Dec. 3, 2021 at 7:16 PM EST
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GEORGIA (WTOC) - The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) announced a Georgia resident, who is currently in New Jersey, has tested positive for COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.

The individual recently traveled from South Africa and was in Georgia for two days before traveling to New Jersey. That is where the testing and sequencing were done.

The individual is fully vaccinated. They are currently isolating in New Jersey. Contact tracing is underway in New Jersey and in Georgia to identify close contacts at risk of infection.

So far, no additional Omicron cases in Georgia have been identified.

“Vaccination and boosters are key to preventing further transmission of COVID-19 and help prevent new variants like Omicron from emerging,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Only 51% of Georgians are fully vaccinated and of those individuals less than 20% have received booster doses.”

According to the DPH, studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection with variants may decrease over time. They say early data from South Africa suggests increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant, and scientists in the United States and around the world are urgently examining vaccine effectiveness related to this variant.

All Georgians over the age of 5 are now eligible for COVID vaccination. Booster doses of vaccine are recommended for adults 18 and older who completed their first series of vaccine at least six months ago. The CDC also recommends general prevention measures such as wearing a mask in public settings, staying 6 feet from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and frequently washing your hands to protect against COVID-19.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or who may have been exposed to someone with COVID should get tested.

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