The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has notified the Allegan County Health Department (ACHD) that the Omicron variant has been identified in an Allegan County resident.
A case investigation determined the resident, who was vaccinated and received a booster dose, had traveled internationally. The resident had been isolating since returning home.
“The presence of Omicron in our county is not surprising, however it stresses the importance of testing especially before and after any recent holiday gatherings,” said ACHD Health Officer Angelique Joynes. “Testing helps identify infections and isolate those with COVID-19 to reduce risk of transmission.”
The Center for Disease Contol has indicated the Omicron variant will likely spread more easily. How easily Omicron spreads, compared to the Delta variant, remains unknown. The CDC expects that anyone with the Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms.
Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. Breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, however, are likely to occur.
The following prevention strategies help reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus and can help limit variants:
• Vaccination and Booster doses for those eligible.
• Testing for COVID-19, especially before gatherings.
• Mask wearing in public indoor spaces.
• Social distancing from others.
• Staying home if you are sick or have symptoms.
• Isolation if you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms.
• Notify your close contacts if you test positive.
• Follow recommendations for traveling.
COVID-19 rapid and PCR testing are available to individuals of any age, regardless of symptoms. There is a testing event from 1 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 29, at the Allegan County Transportation Building, 750 Airway Drive, Allegan. Individuals under the age of 18 will need parent/guardian consent.