INDIANA (WEHT) – The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has finally reached Indiana.

The Indiana Department of Health reported on December 19 that the omicron variant was detected in Indiana. The patient was unvaccinated, and no other information has been released on this person at this time due to privacy laws. The specimen of the virus was collected on December 9, and the sequencing to detect a variant was then conducted, and the Omicron variant was detected this weekend.

The World Health Organization labeled it a variant of concern on November 26. Studies have shown that the variant spreads more easily and faster than the Delta variant. State Health Commissioner Kris Box, M.D., FACOG, said, “COVID-19 cases are on the rise across Indiana, and we do not want this variant to increase the burden on our already stressed healthcare system.”

There are ways to protect against the virus:

  • Get fully vaccinated if eligible, and get a booster if you are age 16 or older
  • Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth in indoor public settings and crowded outdoor settings
  • Get tested if you have symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Avoid crowds

President Biden will deliver a speech December 21 to address the Omicron variant, as the country faces another surge in COVID-19 cases. Health experts have continued to stress the importance of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, as well as continuing to wear masks in public. To get updates on the Coronavirus, please visit this website.