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MDH Statement on COVID-19 Variant “Omicron””

MDH Statement on COVID-19 Variant “Omicron”
Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm issued the following statement today regarding the new COVID-19 variant called Omicron
Minnesota health officials are closely tracking international reports of a new COVID-19 variant, called Omicron (B.1.1.529). The World Health Organization has named Omicron a variant of concern, and scientists are working hard to learn more about its transmissibility and virulence, and how well vaccines may protect a person against it.
At this point no Omicron cases have been reported in Minnesota or the United States. Fortunately, Minnesota has built one of the nation’s strongest genomic sequencing and variant surveillance systems. If an Omicron variant infection is found in Minnesota, we will share that information as soon as possible.
New variants are expected to occur and the most important thing that we can do to prepare is to ensure that everyone 5 years of age and up be vaccinated, and those who are eligible for boosters, receive booster doses.