Omicron Variant Reaches Arizona


Sahana Donepudi

Arizona health officials have confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in Yavapai County on Wednesday. The Arizona Department of Health Services and Yavapai County Community Health urged people to get vaccinated, get a booster shot if eligible, stay home if sick, wear a mask and maintain physical distance.

The head of the department has declined any other statements in order to maintain patient privacy, but says that they are working hard to keep everyone safe.

New cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. climbed from an average of nearly 95,000 a day on Nov. 22 to almost 119,000 a day this week, and hospitalizations are up 25 percent from a month ago. The increases are due almost entirely to the delta variant, though omicron has been detected in about 20 states and is sure to spread even more.

Arizona has had slowly rising cases over the past few months and Johns Hopkins reported a large incline of cases hospitalized.

Scientists are currently monitoring the variants through tests that allow them to determine the genetic sequencing of a strand. As of now, scientists are trying to find out what the long term impacts of omicron will be and how it spreads.

Arizona Public Health says that while they have detected a singular case, there are most likely hundreds that haven’t been detected yet.