Omicron COVID-19 Variant in Washington State

Jennifer Torres
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East Wenatchee, WA- The Chelan Douglas Health District (CDHD) learned that the Omicron COVID-19 variant is present in Washington State. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has listed the COVID-19 Omicron variant as a new variant of concern. At this point, the new variant has significantly more mutations and appears to be more transmissible than previous variants, including the Delta variant.

Several prevention strategies are recommended to combat the SARS-Cov2 variants. CDHD recommends that everyone ages 2 years or older wear masks in public indoor places in areas of substantial or high transmission. Unvaccinated people should wear masks regardless of community transmission level. Masks are still required in indoor areas of public transportation and large public gatherings. If you had close contact with someone with COVID-19, you should get tested 5-7 days after exposure (even if asymptomatic) and wear a mask indoors in public settings for 14 days following exposure. People who develop symptoms of COVID-19 should get tested and stay home until they receive their test result. People who have a positive test result should isolate at home for 10 days.

CDHD is recommending that families get tested after returning from their holiday travels. Travelers who have been to a country or state with Omicron, or anyone identified as a close contact should immediately get tested.

“Living with COVID-19 includes living with the reality that viruses mutate and new variants will come along. Omicron is a reminder to keep safe and be smart with preventive measures, to get tested for symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 and to isolate or quarantine when indicated. I strongly encourage everyone eligible to get a booster shot or begin a vaccine series if you've not yet started,” said Dr. James Wallace, Interim Health Officer for Chelan Douglas Health District.

CDHD continues to stress the importance of a COVID-19 vaccine and getting the booster as soon as possible. Other effective ways to limit the spread of COVID-19 are masking, improving ventilation, staying at least 6 feet away from others, avoiding large crowds and frequent hand washing. For more public health updates, visit and follow CDHD on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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