Deaconess: Omicron variant likely in Tri-State

Local

EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) – Doctors at Deaconess have confirmed the omicron variant of COVID-19 has been found in the Tri-State.

Doctors say they sent a random batch of positive tests to the lab and 12% of those tests were positive for omicron. Doctors say the omicron variant is much more transmissible because it replicates the virus in the lungs which puts the virus out into the environment when someone coughs or sneezes.

Health officials say it’s important to get tested before leaving for holiday gatherings. But they say if you are using an at-home test to be sure to test yourself closer to the gathering instead of a day or two before.

Dr. April Abbott, Director of Microbiology at Deaconess says it’s too early to tell if omicron is contributing to hospitalization rates at Deaconess. However, she told Eyewitness News there has been a 5% spike in the flu and other respiratory illnesses since masking and other restrictions have been lifted throughout the year.

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