RIDOH: RI resident tests positive for Omicron variant


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) said that a person in their 20s has tested positive for the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.

According to the release, the person lives in Providence County and recently returned from travel in New York.

The individual, who is not being identified, completed a primary vaccination series, but had no record of a booster shot.

“We fully expected that Omicron would eventually be detected in Rhode Island as it has been in our neighboring states. I want to be clear: Rhode Island is prepared. This is not cause for panic,” said McKee.

“Just like when the Delta variant was identified in Rhode Island, Rhode Islanders will come together to take the actions necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones. We know the best way to protect ourselves from Delta, Omicron or any other variant is to get vaccinated, get boosted, get tested and consider wearing a mask in crowded public places. I want to thank the staff at our State Health Lab who have been working diligently to sequence more test results than ever before. Together, we can keep each other safe and healthy throughout the holiday season.”

McKee said he will be announcing a comprehensive plan early next week to address the increased number of COVID-19 cases and alleviate pressures on our hospital systems while at the same time keeping our schools open for in-person learning and preventing economic disruptions to our small businesses.

The plan will focus on are vaccination, testing, masking and staffing capacity.

“Given the recent findings of the Omicron variant in our region, it is not at all surprising that we have identified this case in Rhode Island,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH.

“However, the identification of Omicron, coupled with the fact that people are moving indoors, underscores the need for Rhode Islanders to continue to protect themselves and their families. Vaccination, booster doses, mask wearing, testing, social distancing, and ventilation are all critical to minimizing the spread of any variant of COVID-19. In advance of the holidays, these measures are more important than ever.”

The RIDOH has detailed data on variants identified in Rhode Island posted here.

The release contuned, saying everyone older than 5 years-old should get a primary series of COVID-19 vaccine and everyone older than 16 should get a booster dose.

There are dozens of locations to get vaccinated throughout Rhode Island every day, including vaccination clinics in schools, churches, senior centers, many other community sites, pharmacies, and the offices of many primary care providers. .

The case was identified through the ongoing genomic surveillance program coordinated by RIDOH’s State Health Laboratories.

Contact tracing on this case is ongoing.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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