Health Ministry yet to reveal if Florida's Omicron patient-zero traveled internationally or contracted Covid-19 locally


The state of Florida is yet to reveal if the first person who tested positive with the Omicron variant travelled outside the United States or contracted Covid-19 locally.
Coronavirus stock composite photo.Edward Jenner / Pexels

On Monday, Florida discovered its first known cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus from a patient in St. Lucie County.

The following day on Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that it was indeed the Omicron variant of the novel coronavirus.

It remains unclear if the individual who has reported this first case of the Omicron variant had been traveled internationally or if they might have picked up the virus locally.

This has prompted the Florida Department of Health to begin contact tracing efforts with the hopes of identifying any possible exposure as soon as possible.

The state's health department is also working on implementing necessary isolation and quarantine protocols on helping mitigate the spread.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is alleged to have downplayed the significance of the Omicron variant during one of his briefings.

The governor said:

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 an briefing broadcast on First Coast News, Governor DeSantis mentioned that Florida would be using the same strategies deployed during the Delta variant wave during summer.

Just as this was happening, later that day, a second case was identified at the James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa, according to a statement released by the hospital.

According to the hospital's spokesperson, Zoë Stagg, the individual who tested positive reportedly traveled overseas and is said to have been experiencing mild symptoms.

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