FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 10, 2021
Media Contact: Melissa Morin, Public Information Officer
Whatcom County Health Department
First Omicron Case in Whatcom County Confirmed
BELLINGHAM, WA – The Washington State Department of Health confirmed the first case of the new Omicron variant in Whatcom County today. The person who tested positive for the new variant, a vaccinated man in his 30s, is currently in isolation.
DOH first confirmed the arrival of Omicron in Washington on Dec. 4 in Thurston, Pierce and King counties. There are many unknowns about this new variant, but according to the CDC this variant likely spreads more easily than other variants, although it isn’t known whether or not this variant spreads more easily than the Delta variant.
More data is needed to determine whether or not this variant causes more serious illness than other variants, or evades immunity derived from vaccines or prior infection, better than other variants. Current vaccines are expected to protect against this variant, as with others, although breakthrough infections can be expected. The Whatcom County Health Department advises everyone who’s eligible to get a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“The presence of Omicron in our county really highlights the importance of getting vaccinated, and getting a booster,” said Whatcom County Health Department’s Communicable Disease and Epidemiology Manager Cindy Hollinsworth. “Breakthrough infections happen, but vaccines are still the best defense we have against this virus and all its variants. Masks are the next best defense. And if anyone feels sick, if anyone has a fever, a cough, trouble breathing or any other symptoms of COVID-19, they need to get tested right away, even if they’re fully vaccinated. Isolate at home until you get your test result, and call your health care provider.”
Local COVID-19 vaccine providers can be found at VaccineLocator.doh.wa.gov and at WhatcomCounty.US/CovidVaccine. For more information about COVID-19 symptoms, testing resources, isolation guidelines and more, go to WhatcomCounty.US/Covid.
This information is also available as a PDF.