SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A second case of the COVID-19 omicron variant has been discovered in the United States, this time in Minnesota.
State health officials said Thursday that it was detected in a Minnesota resident who recently traveled to New York City and attended the Anime NYC 2021 convention at the Javits Center from Nov. 19-21, just before showing mild symptoms.
It’s the second known case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in the nation at this time. The first was discovered in San Francisco on Wednesday, in a resident who had traveled to South Africa.
Although the World Health Organization considers it a variant of concern, so far health officials say people with the omicron variant have shown mild symptoms.
President Biden even said it’s not a cause for “panic.”
“CDC has been actively monitoring and preparing for this variant. We have been working closely with Minnesota’s Department of Health and will continue to work diligently with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners as we learn more,” said CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “CDC has expanded its capacity for genomic sequencing over the past nine months and we have more tools to fight the variant than we had at this time last year from vaccines to boosters to the prevention strategies that we know work including masking in indoor public settings, washing your hands frequently and physical distancing. These methods work to prevent the spread of COVID-19, no matter the genetic sequence.”
Federal and state officials in California and Minnesota all continue to push the message of getting the COVID-19 vaccine, plus booster shots, as the best method of prevention. They also encourage masking and getting tested for the virus.
Both U.S. cases of the omicron variant so far have been in people who are vaccinated. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, the person showed symptoms on Nov. 22 and have since stopped showing them.
In San Francisco, county health officer Dr. Grant Colfax said they do not anticipate tightening any COVID-19 restrictions amid the omicron variant, which officials were expecting to reach U.S. shores at some point.