YAVAPAI COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — The Arizona Department of Health Services and Yavapai County Community Health Services confirmed the state’s first known case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant on Wednesday. The announcement comes on the same day ADHS issued a new report that looked at COVID-19 cases and death rates by vaccination status during October. During that month, ADHS found that unvaccinated Arizonans had a 3.9 times greater risk of testing positive for the coronavirus, and a 15.2 times greater risk of dying from the virus.“Much remains unknown about the Omicron variant at this time, including whether it is more transmissible and more capable of producing severe illness than the Delta variant,” said Don Herrington, ADHS interim director. “We do know that current COVID-19 vaccines have remained very effective against Delta and other variants, and I strongly encourage Arizonans to get vaccinated if they aren’t already and make sure they’re current on their booster dose if they are fully vaccinated.”While ADHS wasn’t able to say where in Yavapai County the case was confirmed, health officials recommended Arizonans check out the hundreds of providers issuing COVID-19 vaccines to everyone age 5 and older. “It’s natural to be concerned, but we should avoid overreacting to this news,” said Leslie Horton, director of Yavapai County Community Health Services. “Since late 2020, as different variants have come along, COVID-19 vaccines have consistently proven highly effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Our best response to the Omicron variant, as with any other variant of concern, is renewing our focus on vaccination and following recommendations, such as staying home when sick, that are proven to reduce the spread.”To find a vaccination provider, click here or call the bilingual Arizona COVID-19 Hotline at 844.542.8201. For more information COVID-19 in Arizona, click here.
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