HARTFORD, Conn. — Gov. Ned Lamont announced Saturday evening that the first confirmed case of COVID-19 omicron variant has been confirmed in the state.
The State Dept. of Public Health lab confirmed the presence of the variant using sequencing.
The case involves a man in his 60s from Hartford County who developed mild symptoms on Nov. 27. An at-home COVID-19 test came back positive on Nov. 29, and so did a molecular test on Dec. 1.
A family member went to Anime NYC 2021 between Nov. 17 and Nov. 22 and ended up developing mild symptoms on Nov. 21, officials said. They tested positive on an at-home COVID-19 test that was taken on Nov. 23.
The man in his 60s and the family member were both fully vaccinated, according to officials.
COVID testing on the rest of the family is pending, officials said.
UConn Health Infectious Disease Doctor David Banach said there’s a lot left to learn about Omicron.
“We don’t know yet the full extent to which the vaccines can protect against this new variant. What I would advise is that—this variant has the potential to spread in the United States and doing all we can to offer protection, including vaccination and booster doses, is going to be important to put our best foot forward as we begin to encounter this variant,” Banach said.
In addition to expressing the importance of getting vaccinated and boosters, Dr. Banach said you can add an extra layer of protection by wearing a mask around people you know aren’t fully vaccinated or indoors, especially if you are immunocompromised.
Banach said he expects the vaccine will offer some protection from the variant but there is more to learn in the coming days and weeks about how contagious and severe it is compared to other variants.
“As I’ve been saying for the last several days, given the speed that this new variant has been spreading around the world and its positive identification in several states, we presumed it was already in our state and the information we received from the lab today confirms that fact,” Governor Lamont said. “This likely is not the only case of the variant in the state. That being said, I must urge everyone in Connecticut not to panic. While we are still learning more about this variant, our health providers are continuing to do their best to protect everyone. We have life-saving tools like vaccines and boosters available to fight this pandemic – including the Delta and Omicron variants – and I urge everyone to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and everyone around them.”
Massachusetts detected its first confirmed omicron variant COVID case earlier Saturday.
New York has detected several omicron cases since Dec. 2.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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