Presence of omicron variant rising quickly throughout state


Missouri health officials say the presence of the omicron variant is rising quickly throughout the state.In a news release Monday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said that more than half of community sewershed samples tested during the week of Dec. 20 showed the presence of the omicron variant. “The existence of the omicron variant is becoming much more prevalent each week, making the actions of COVID-19 individual testing, vaccination and other mitigation measures more important as we already face the threat of the delta variant and an increase in flu cases,” said Donald Kauerauf, DHSS Director.The DHSS said it continues to recommend that residents wear masks in public indoor settings, wash hands frequently and maintain a physical distance from others. “Gatherings are continuing during this holiday season, and I highly encourage testing before and after these events and any travels to help limit any unintended spread of the virus,” Kauerauf said. “If you’re not feeling well, stay home and don’t risk getting your loved ones sick. It is important for individuals to plan ahead when identifying a location and advance timing needed to get tested, as there is a growing demand for these services.”Sequencing tests identified the first presence of the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) from two sets of sewershed samples collected on Dec. 7-8 in Jackson County and Buchanan County.As a result of expanded testing the week of Dec. 20, health officials said 32 of 57 samples had mutations associated with the omicron variant.

Missouri health officials say the presence of the omicron variant is rising quickly throughout the state.

In a news release Monday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said that more than half of community sewershed samples tested during the week of Dec. 20 showed the presence of the omicron variant.

“The existence of the omicron variant is becoming much more prevalent each week, making the actions of COVID-19 individual testing, vaccination and other mitigation measures more important as we already face the threat of the delta variant and an increase in flu cases,” said Donald Kauerauf, DHSS Director.

The DHSS said it continues to recommend that residents wear masks in public indoor settings, wash hands frequently and maintain a physical distance from others.

“Gatherings are continuing during this holiday season, and I highly encourage testing before and after these events and any travels to help limit any unintended spread of the virus,” Kauerauf said. “If you’re not feeling well, stay home and don’t risk getting your loved ones sick. It is important for individuals to plan ahead when identifying a location and advance timing needed to get tested, as there is a growing demand for these services.”

Sequencing tests identified the first presence of the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) from two sets of sewershed samples collected on Dec. 7-8 in Jackson County and Buchanan County.

As a result of expanded testing the week of Dec. 20, health officials said 32 of 57 samples had mutations associated with the omicron variant.



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