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COVID-19 Omicron variant not detected in Michigan yet

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Americans face at least 2 weeks of uncertainty as scientists work to answer 3 key questions about the new Omicron variant

Robert Baird, of Centereach, New York, is given a booster shot as members of the community are administered the COVID-19 vaccination and booster at Stony Brook University Research and Development Park in Stony Brook, New York on Nov. 17.

McLaren Hospital COVID

LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - About 31,000 positive COVID-19 tests in Michigan received additional scrutiny, but health officials say there is no evidence of the new Omicron variant in the state.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says its laboratory division analyzed the genetic sequencing from the 31,000 tests. None of them matched the variant first discovered in South Africa this fall.

The World Health Organization labeled the Omicron a "variant of concern" while analysis continues on whether it spreads more rapidly, causes a more severe illness and resists vaccines more than other strains of COVID-19.

All vaccinated adults should get a Covid-19 booster shot because of the Omicron variant, CDC says

“It’s still early, and there is much that we need to learn about the Omicron variant,” said Dr. Alexis Travis, senior deputy director of Michigan’s Public Health Administration. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is advising everyone eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine and booster to stay current on their shots. The department also has issued an advisory calling for people to wear masks indoors, wash hands and practice social distancing.

Biden says new Omicron variant is 'cause for concern, not a cause for panic'

“Ensuring that as many Michiganders as possible are vaccinated remains the best protection we have against COVID-19 – including variants of concern.” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, Michigan’s chief medical executive. 

She said continued spread of COVID-19 causes the virus to mutate into other variants.