DOVER, Ohio — The first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Tuscarawas County was detected Tuesday in an adult male who recently traveled to New York City, according to the Tuscarawas County Health Department.
The health department was notified about the confirmed case after genomic sequencing by the Cleveland Clinic Laboratory late in the afternoon on Tuesday, according to a news release from the department.
The positive case began experiencing symptoms on Nov. 27, health officials said. The case was fully vaccinated but had not yet obtained a booster. They experienced only mild COVID-19 symptoms and have been released from the isolation/contagious period.
The health department said they have contacted the individual and conducted a case investigation and contact tracing.
“While the evidence of an omicron case in Tuscarawas County is noteworthy, the delta variant continues as the driving force behind the increase in COVID-19 case rates and hospitalizations in county residents,” explained Katie Seward, Tuscarawas County Health Commissioner.
As of the latest Dec. 4 report from the Ohio Department of Health, delta is still overwhelmingly the dominant strain of COVID in Ohio, accounting for 99.51% of sequenced cases. Omicron was found in just .49% of cases.
“The arrival of omicron and the continued impact of the Delta variant highlight the importance of our best prevention tool, which is choosing to get vaccinated,” Seward said. “In addition to being vaccinated and getting the booster, the keys to staying safe in the face of COVID-19 remain masking, keeping our distance, hand hygiene, good ventilation, and avoiding crowds. These same safety measures will also help reduce the current influx of patients experienced by local hospitals.”
According to ODH, the vaccine has been completed in 6,334,391 Ohioans, which is 54.19% of the state’s population. To date, 2,168,057 Ohio residents have received a booster shot.
Since the beginning of the year, there have been 2,455 breakthrough hospitalizations among fully vaccinated individuals, which is 5% of all hospitalizations in 2021. Deaths have occurred in 610 full vaccinated individuals, or 4% of all COVID-related deaths this year.
Omicron was first detected in Ohio on Dec. 7, in two adult males in the central part of the state.
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