Florida Has Recorded Its First Cases of The Omicron Variant

Tom Stevenson

Photo by Engin Akyurt on unsplash

As I reported earlier in the month, the first cases of the Omicron variant reached American shores. Now the first cases of Omicron have been confirmed in Florida, with two cases confirmed so far.

The first case was reported at St. Lucie County on Monday, with the second case being confirmed at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa on Tuesday.

This is all we know so far and there's nothing to infer from this, except confirmation that Omicron is in Florida. As with the Delta variant during the summer, cases of Omicron are likely to increase now that it's here. As was the case with Delta, whether fears over its transmissibility and how deadly are founded is still to be determined.

What happens next is not certain. But it's unlikely Governor DeSantis will impose new restrictions should the variant realise the fears many scientists have regarding it. Here's what he had to say in a news conference on Tuesday:

“Once you identify it in a few places around the world, it has spread, OK? Just because you haven’t identified it somewhere doesn’t mean it’s not there. In Florida, we won’t let them lock you down. We won’t let them restrict you,” he said. “We’re not going to let them impose mandates. We’re not going to let them close the schools. We are going to protect your freedom to make your decision.”

This is in keeping with how DeSantis has handled the pandemic so far. It's yet to be determined how bad Omicron will be, but it looks like DeSantis won't bring in restrictions no matter how bad things get.

So far, 84.1% of adults in Florida have had one dose of the vaccine, 72.6 have had two doses, and 24.6% have had a further booster. With figures such as Dr Fauci recommending everyone to get vaccinated and get a booster, this is the best course of action if you're concerned about the Omicron variant.

Dr Fauci reaffirmed this with these comments made at a news conference earlier in the week:

“We’ve said it over and over again and it deserves repeating. If you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated, get boosted if you are vaccinated, continue to use the mitigation methods, namely masks, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces."

This is all we know so far and it would be unwise to make predictions about what could happen, as scientists are still understanding the severity of Omicron. But it's best to take precautions just in case and ensure you're up to date with your vaccinations.

What we do know is that we're likely to hear a lot more about Omicron in the coming weeks!

What's your opinion on the reports of the first cases being reported in Florida? Do you agree with Governor DeSantis and his comments or do you think he should bring in some restrictions if the variant is as bad as feared?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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