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US States of Maryland, Pennsylvania Confirm First Omicron Variant Cases - Statements

© REUTERS / Eva PlevierA medical worker stores a swab in a vial at XL Schiphol test location, after Dutch health authorities said that 61 people who arrived in Amsterdam on flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 27, 2021.
A medical worker stores a swab in a vial at XL Schiphol test location, after Dutch health authorities said that 61 people who arrived in Amsterdam on flights from South Africa tested positive for COVID-19, in Amsterdam, Netherlands, November 27, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 03.12.2021
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WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US states of Maryland and Pennsylvania have confirmed the first cases of the new coronavirus Omicron variant, local authorities said in statements.
In Maryland, three cases have been detected at the Baltimore Metropolitan area in close proximity to the US capital of Washington, DC.
“Two cases are from the same household, including a vaccinated individual who recently traveled to South Africa and an unvaccinated person who was a close contact of that individual. One unrelated case involves a vaccinated individual with no known recent travel history,” the Office of Governor said in a statement on Friday.
None of the three individuals are hospitalized and the authorities are taking comprehensive contact tracing efforts to identify, quarantine and test all potential close contacts, the statement added.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan urged resident to continue taking safety measures.
“This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will continue to keep Marylanders updated as new information becomes available,” he said.
In Pennsylvania, a Philadelphia man also tested positive for the Omicron variant, the local authorities said in a separate statement.
“At this time, the Health Department is issuing a warning to all Philadelphians to take precautions, given the possibility that this new strain may be more transmissible. This includes seriously reconsidering plans for indoor holiday gatherings and activities,” the statement said.
In addition to California, where the first case of an Omicron infection was detected earlier this week, the US states of Minnesota, Colorado, Hawaii and New York have also reported cases of the new variant, the statement said. In addition, Nebraska reported six cases on Friday.
Last week, the World Health Organization identified the new strain of the coronavirus, first reported in South Africa, as one of concern. However, local doctors and health officials have reported that the cases – all in fully vaccinated persons - are mild.
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