by Robin Kemp

The Georgia Department of Public Health says a Georgia resident has tested positive for the highly-contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19. As of press time Friday night, the Omicron variant has been detected in 22 countries.

According to a press release issued Friday evening, Georgia DPH was “notified of a Georgia resident currently in New Jersey who has tested positive for COVID-19 and the Omicron variant. The individual recently traveled from South Africa and was in Georgia for two days before traveling on to New Jersey where the testing and sequencing were done. The individual is fully vaccinated and is isolating in New Jersey. Contact tracing is underway there and in Georgia to identify close contacts at risk of infection. So far, no additional Omicron cases in
Georgia have been identified.”

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control in Atlanta says fully-vaccinated people can catch and spread the Omicron variant of COVID-19. However, vaccines “are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations, and death.”

Georgia DPH Commissioner Dr, Kathleen Toomey urged people ages 5 and up to get vaccinated. Adults 18 and older should get booster shots if they finished their first series of vaccinations before early June (six months ago).

“Vaccination and boosters are key to preventing further transmission of COVID-19 and help prevent new variants like Omicron from emerging,” Toomey said. “Only 51% of Georgians are fully
vaccinated and of those individuals less than 20% have received booster doses.”

If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, or if you might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should get tested.

COVID-19 testing is free. Some locations in Clayton County include:

The CDC says you can limit the spread of COVID-19 by wearing a mask in public, avoiding crowds and spaces with poor ventilation, staying 6 feet away from other people, and washing your hands frequently. By keeping the virus from spreading, you can greatly decrease the chances it has to breed and adapt in the wild.

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