New Jersey Confirms First Case of Omicron Variant in Fully Vaccinated Adult Isolating in North Jersey

Carolyne Volpe Curley / West Essex Now

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Stuart Ray
“With cases increasing and the identification of the Omicron in the state, the fight against COVID-19 is not over. We are still learning about the Omicron variant, but we have tools to stop the spread of the virus, most important among them is to get vaccinated and get a booster dose. The public should continue to mask up, get tested if they have symptoms, physically distance, avoid crowded events, stay home when sick and wash hands frequently.” ~ NJ Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli

Friday, Dec. 3, 2021

This afternoon, Governor Phil Murphy and NJ Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli announced that the state has identified its first case of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529). The individual, a fully vaccinated adult female, had recently traveled to South Africa.

The traveler is a Georgia resident and has remained in isolation in NJ with moderate symptoms since she tested positive on Sunday, Nov. 28. The patient is now recovering after receiving care in a North Jersey emergency department. The New Jersey Department of Health laboratory performed sequencing on the specimen to confirm it was the Omicron variant.

“The Omicron variant is among us and we need to take steps to stop its spread. It is vital that residents remain as vigilant as possible as we await more information about the variant. Vaccinations and mask wearing have proven to be an effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and I urge everyone ages 18 and over to receive a booster.” ~ NJ Governor Phil Murphy

OMICRON VARIANT

Friday, Nov. 26

  • World Health Organization classified this new variant, B.1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and named it Omicron.

Tuesday, Nov. 30

  • United States classified Omicron as a Variant of Concern

The New Jersey Department of Health has been working with other states, local health departments, clinical laboratories, hospitals, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to rapidly identify individuals who may have been infected with the Omicron variant.

Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection may decrease over time. Booster doses provide essential additional protection. While more than 70 percent of residents have received their primary vaccine series, only 31 percent of residents eligible have received a booster.

The CDC recommends that all individuals 5 and older should get vaccinated and those 18 and older receive a booster dose.

NJ VACCINATION / BOOSTER INFORMATION

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Carolyne Volpe Curley, a Certified New Jersey Press Journalist since 2012, has appeared on nationally televised productions and interviewed by the international press. Volpe Curley publishes West Essex NOW, a hyperlocal news site covering Essex County, NJ. Volpe Curley graduated from Lafayette College in 1986, with a BA in both English and Government, and a minor in Women Studies and Religion.

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