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Arizona reports first case of Omicron variant

Case reported in Yavapai County

PHOENIX, Ariz. (KYMA, KECY) - The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) and Yavapai County Community Health Services (YCCHS) on Wednesday confirmed Arizona's first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.

“Much remains unknown about the Omicron variant at this time, including whether it is more transmissible and more capable of producing severe illness than the Delta variant,” said Don Herrington, ADHS interim director.

In spite of the questions surrounding this strain, YCCHS director Leslie Horton says there's no need for panic.

“It’s natural to be concerned, but we should avoid overreacting to this news,” Horton said. “Since late 2020, as different variants have come along, COVID-19 vaccines have consistently proven highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death."

Horton and Herrington agree on the best ways to protect yourself from all strains of coronavirus.

 “We do know that current COVID-19 vaccines have remained very effective against Delta and other variants, and I strongly encourage Arizonans to get vaccinated if they aren’t already and make sure they’re current on their booster dose if they are fully vaccinated," said the ADHS director.

"Our best response to the Omicron variant, as with any other variant of concern, is renewing our focus on vaccination and following recommendations, such as staying home when sick, that are proven to reduce the spread," advised Horton.

To find a vaccine provider, you can visit the ADHS site, or call 844-542-8201 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. MST seven days a week.

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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director in September of 2019, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest. Her grandmother first moved to Yuma in the late 1940’s, and Lisa got her first job in TV news at KYMA in 1987.

Reach out to Lisa with story ideas and your digital feedback at lisa.sturgis@kecytv.com.

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Adonis Albright

Adonis Albright first found his passion in local news as a production assistant in San Diego after getting his Bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University.

If you have a great story idea, you can reach him at adonis.albright@kecytv.com.

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