CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Public Health reported the first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 Tuesday.
A Chicago resident was the first person to test positive for the variant in the state of Illinois. A press release from the health department said the person was known to be in contact with a person from another state who had previously tested positive for the variant.
The person was fully vaccinated and had received a booster dose. The person is self-isolating and did not need to go to the hospital for treatment.
Public health officials are carrying out contact tracing.
IDPH laboratories perform genomic sequencing of positive specimens to identify any variants. The health department renewed its ask for hospitals and laboratories across Illinois to increase the number of positive specimens they send to the IDPH labs for sequencing.
One case of the omicron variant has been identified in Missouri. The case was identified in a resident of the city of St. Louis.
The omicron variant is classified by the World Health Organization as a “variant of concern” as scientists work to determine how it may compare with the predominant delta variant in terms of transmissibility and severity.
Scientists also are studying the degree to which existing vaccines and therapies protect against omicron.