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Omicron Variant of COVID-19 Virus Identified in St. Mary’s County

The St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD) has been notified of the first laboratory identified Omicron variant case of the COVID-19 virus in St. Mary’s County. Early analysis of the Omicron variant suggests it is highly contagious compared to prior COVID-19 virus strains. Due to a state of Maryland IT/network issue, local data on case rates and variant virus strains are currently limited. However, a large increase in demand for testing locally, findings from public health investigation/contact tracing, and wastewater surveillance data may indicate a rise in community spread of COVID-19 and a growing presence of the Omicron variant in St. Mary’s County. “With the ongoing impact of Delta, the rapid rise of an even more contagious Omicron, and the indoor gatherings of the holiday season, we are very concerned about our current developing COVID-19 surge,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “Hospitals across the state are seeing volumes increase significantly. It is so important for our community members to get vaccinated, get boosted, wear more effective masks indoors when with non-household members, and avoid large indoor gatherings.” SMCHD urges all community members age 5 and older to get full vaccination for COVID-19 as well as a booster dose […]

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