Omicron variant now present in Ohio, health officials say

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Ohio Department of Health has reported that the first two cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus have been confirmed in Ohio following genomic sequencing by The Ohio State University Laboratory.

“We have known that it would only be a matter of time until a case of Omicron was detected in Ohio. The CDC believes that this variant has likely been circulating in the U.S. since November,” said Ohio Department of Health Director Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, MBA.

The two Omicron cases were detected in adult males in central Ohio, and both tested positive on a PCR test on Dec. 7. Both cases had received their initial COVID-19 vaccine series more than six months ago, but neither had yet obtained a booster. Both patients are experiencing mild symptoms and have not been hospitalized.

Neither had a history of international travel. Although more information is being gathered, to protect patient privacy, exact age and county of residence are not being released at this time. Public health officials have already contacted the individuals are in the process of appropriate case investigation and contact tracing.

The Ohio State University Laboratory is sequencing all positive PCR tests, and during the past three weeks, has sequenced about 1,000 positive PCR tests. These two positive tests reflect about 0.2% of all tests sequenced at the OSU lab – the remainder of which were Delta.

Ohio reported 8,072 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

The 21-day average of reported new cases is 6,541, according to the Ohio Department of Health, which released updated statistics this afternoon.

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COVID-19 Key Indicators in the state of Ohio as of Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.

COVID-19 Key Indicators in the state of Ohio as of Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.

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COVID-19 Key Indicators in the state of Ohio as of Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021.

ODH also reported on Saturday that 4,519 people in the state were hospitalized with COVID-19, including 313 new patients in the last 24 hours. The current 21-day average of new hospitalizations due to COVID-19 is 284.

Nineteen new patients were admitted to the ICU with COVID-35 in Ohio in the last 24 hours, according to the statistics. The 21-day average of reported ICU admissions is 29.

A total of 27,371 people have died from COVID-19 in the state of Ohio as of Saturday since the start of the pandemic. The state updates death data twice a week. Because other states don’t regularly report death certificates to Ohio’s Bureau of Vital Statistics, death data can fluctuate.

As of Saturday, 58.68% of Ohioans, or over 6.8 million people, have have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 8,709 in the last 24 hours.

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