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1st case of omicron variant identified in Minnesota, officials say

Virus Outbreak France
Posted at 11:11 AM, Dec 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-02 12:22:00-05

Health officials in Minnesota say they have identified the state's first case of the omicron variant.

On Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Health said the person tested positive for the variant after returning from New York City.

"This news is concerning, but it is not a surprise," Governor Tim Walz said in a news release. "We know that this virus is highly infectious and moves quickly throughout the world. Minnesotans know what to do to keep each other safe now — get the vaccine, get tested, wear a mask indoors, and get a booster. Together, we can fight this virus and help keep Minnesotans safe.”

Health officials said the person is an adult male who lives in Hennepin County and is vaccinated.

They said the man began developing mild symptoms on Nov. 22 and tested for COVID-19 on Nov. 24.

The man told officials he traveled to NYC to attend the Anime NYC 2021 convention at the Javits Center from Nov. 19-21.

"We still have more to learn about Omicron, but the most important thing we can do right now is to use the tools we have available to make it as hard as possible for this virus to spread,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm. “In addition to vaccination and boosters, we can slow the spread of this variant and all COVID-19 variants by using the tried-and-true prevention methods of wearing masks, staying home when sick, and getting tested when appropriate.”

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said Thursday that they are aware of the Minnesota case and state health officials have begun contact tracing, Scripps' New York station WKBW reported.

Gov. Hochul added that they do not have any confirmed cases in New York State at this time.

This is now the second omicron variant case to be reported in the United States.

On Wednesday, a person in California was identified as the first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in the nation.

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