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Omicron variant detected in Oklahoma

Virus Outbreak Tweaking Vaccines
Posted at 4:15 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-22 10:41:45-05

TULSA, Okla. — The first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in Oklahoma appeared Tuesday, the state health department reported.

State health officials had assumed to this point that the variant was here, but a case of it hadn't been confirmed until Tuesday's report.

“We have known for some time that COVID-19 is not going anywhere," said Keith Reed, interim Commissioner of Health.

Tests of a suspected COVID-19 case go to the Oklahoma Pandemic Center for Innovation and Excellence in Stillwater where samples are identified for their different variants.

"The good news is, as new variants come on the scene, our resources in the state are plentiful. Early research is indicating that the mitigation methods we’ve been using to combat COVID-19 are still the best way to detect and prevent severe illness from the Omicron variant. Getting your COVID-19 shot is the best way to protect yourself and others, even from new variants like this one. Wearing a mask, especially in crowded indoor places, can also help protect you from infection. And if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, tests can tell you if you are currently infected and are available at pharmacies across the state. Tests can also provide reassurance that your holiday gatherings are safe.”

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Oklahoma had been only one of two states in the U.S. as of Monday to not have reported a case of the quickly-spreading variant.

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