Genesee County, MI—Genesee County Health Department officials have confirmed that two individuals have tested positive for the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

The first individual tested positive on Dec. 1 and the other on Dec. 2, according to a GCHD news release.

Both were adults between the ages of 18 and 64 years old were not hospitalized. Health officials said the cases were associated with domestic travel.

The Omicron variant was first detected on Nov. 11 in South Africa. The first case was confirmed in the United States on Dec. 1.

“The identification of the Omicron variant is not unexpected as it has been identified in more than 20 other states,” the news release stated.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Omicron in classified as a “variant of concern,” meaning it shows evidence of one or more of the following:  it is likely to spread more easily than the original variant, it is more contagious, it may cause more severe illness, and is more resistant to diagnostics, treatments or vaccines.  

“The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of primary vaccinations and boosters,” the news release stated.

Getting vaccinated remains the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and death. A list of free, walk-in vaccine clinics can be found here.

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...