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Western UP Health Department says Omicron in region


HANCOCK, MI— The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been identified in the Western U.P.

Western Upper Peninsula Health Department Health Officer Kate Beer says not all COVID tests are sequenced to determine the virus strain. But with a rapid rise in recent case numbers, officials are certain there are more Omicron cases.

The Health Department identified 396 new COVID cases over a two day period last week. The count doesn’t include numerous positive home tests taken by residents.

Beer says with the high transmission rate of Omicron, vaccination is more important than ever. That and staying home when you’re sick, masking in public or crowded spaces, and following quarantine guidelines are the best defenses against severe illness, hospitalization, and death.