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Omicron detected in 32 states, with cases ‘likely to rise’

Many states have detected cases of the omicron variant

A person takes COVID-19 test at mobile testing site near Bryant Park on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in New York. The omicron variant of COVID-19, which had been undetected in the U.S. before the middle of this week, had been discovered in at least five states by the end of Thursday, showing yet again how mutations of the virus can circumnavigate the globe with speed and ease.
A person takes COVID-19 test at mobile testing site near Bryant Park on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in New York. The omicron variant of COVID-19, which had been undetected in the U.S. before the middle of this week, had been discovered in at least five states by the end of Thursday, showing yet again how mutations of the virus can circumnavigate the globe with speed and ease.
Yuki Iwamura, Associated Press

Travel restrictions can delay the spread of a virus by only a few days, studies show. Now, 40 countries have identified cases of the omicron variant, including — Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia and more, per Forbes.

According to The New York Times Omicron tracker, the variant, discovered by South African researchers during the Thanksgiving holiday break, has also spread to 19 states in the U.S. as of Sunday. The first case was detected in California on Dec. 1. A few days later, the first case was discovered in Utah, per the Deseret News.

States the variant has been detected in

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Connecticut
  5. Florida
  6. Georgia
  7. Hawaii
  8. Idaho
  9. Illinois
  10. Iowa
  11. Louisiana
  12. Maryland
  13. Massachusetts
  14. Michigan
  15. Minnesota
  16. Mississippi
  17. Missouri
  18. Nebraska
  19. New Hampshire
  20. New Jersey
  21. New Mexico
  22. New York
  23. North Carolina
  24. Ohio
  25. Pennsylvania
  26. Rhode Island
  27. Tennessee
  28. Texas
  29. Utah
  30. Virginia
  31. Washington
  32. Wisconsin

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, “we know we have several dozen cases and we’re following them closely. And we are every day hearing about more and more probable cases so that number is likely to rise,” per ABC News.

  • The transmissibility of the virus and the effectiveness of the vaccine are still unclear, she added.
  • “I do think that getting a lot of immunity right now will be critically important, masking up right now,” Walensky said. “Doing all of those things will help prevent a more aggressive Omicron surge.”