Virginia health officials confirm first case of Omicron variant in the state

The Virginia Department of Health has announced the first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in a sample from an adult resident of the northwest region of the state.

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The resident had no history of international travel, but did have a history of domestic travel, during the exposure period. 

"We knew it was only a matter of time before we would record our first Omicron infection in the Commonwealth," said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. "This drives home the challenge the COVID-19 virus presents to the world as the virus changes and mutates over time. Scientists are hard at work studying the newly identified variant to understand how easily it spreads and how sick it makes people. Right now, the highly transmissible Delta variant is causing almost all cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. We have very effective vaccines that can interrupt the chain of transmission and reduce the odds that unpredictable mutations like the Delta and Omicron variants will emerge. Do your part. Get vaccinated if you are eligible. Get your booster shot if you’re eligible. Vaccination is how Virginia, the U.S. and the world will put this pandemic behind us."

READ MORE: First 3 cases of Omicron variant identified in Maryland, Gov. Hogan confirms

The Omicron variant was first identified in Botswana and South Africa in November 2021 and may spread more easily than other variants, including Delta. 

At this time, there is no evidence that infection with this variant causes more severe disease, but there is evidence that persons who have previously had COVID-19 might be at greater risk for reinfection with Omicron.

To date, the Omicron variant has been identified in 21 other U.S. states or jurisdictions.


For more information about COVID-19 variants, visit the VDH Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19 website and the CDC Variants of the Virus website.