First cases of omicron COVID-19 variant detected in metro Phoenix

Dec 13, 2021, 2:50 PM

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)...

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

PHOENIX — The first six cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 have been detected in metro Phoenix, health officials announced Monday.

Three clusters of cases were found, according to the Maricopa County Department of Public Health. Ages of those infected range from late teens to people in their 60s.

None of the people had previous international travel history and the individuals are isolating at home while recovering, officials said.

No serious illness has been reported and the majority of cases were fully vaccinated, Maricopa County added.

“With these six cases confirmed and with no travel history, it’s clear that the omicron variant is here in our community and spreading,” Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, county medical director for disease control, said in a press release.

“We know that COVID-19 vaccines have remained highly effective at preventing serious illness and death, even when new strains develop. That’s why it’s critical that all eligible residents get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible and take other precautions to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”

Omicron was first detected in Arizona on Wednesday.

The case was confirmed in Yavapai County, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services, but little other information was released.

The variant was first identified in the U.S. on Dec. 1 and has spread to more than 20 states as of Monday.

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First cases of omicron COVID-19 variant detected in metro Phoenix