HEALTH

Omicron variant of COVID-19 detected in first Utah patient

Dec 3, 2021, 3:11 PM | Updated: 3:34 pm
Omicron variant Photo: Canva...
Omicron variant Photo: Canva

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah health officials confirmed the state’s first patient to test positive for the omicron variant of COVID-19 Friday. 

The omicron variant arrives in Utah

The patient, who recently returned to Utah from a trip to South Africa, was described as a fully-vaccinated older adult. Utah Department of Health officials said the patient received monoclonal antibody treatment, and continues to recover at home with just mild symptoms. 

Tune to KSL NewsRadio for the latest in this developing story. Listen live here.

“Given the high number of Utahns traveling in and out of the state, it is not surprising the Omicron variant has been found in Utah,” said Dr. Leisha Nolen, state epidemiologist, in a news release. “The discovery of this case does not change the way Utah residents should protect themselves, but reinforces that we all need to take this virus seriously. Please take action to protect yourself. Get vaccinated and get a booster dose when you qualify, wear a mask in crowded, indoor settings, get tested early if you have symptoms, and stay home if you are sick or test positive.”

The Utah health department pointed out that while researchers continue to gather information about the omicron variant, the same precautions Utahns employed at the beginning of the pandemic will continue to serve us well. Those measures include social distancing, hand-washing, and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine and booster. 

The CDC continues to recommend unvaccinated international travelers practice isolation after returning home for at least seven days. Health officials also recommend all travelers, vaccinated or not, seek out a COVID-19 test between 3 and 5 days after returning home. 


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirus spreads person to person, similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Wear a mask to protect yourself and others per CDC recommendations.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune systems away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet).
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities).
  • Obtain a flu shot.
  • Seek out the COVID-19 vaccine.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A 

Utah’s Coronavirus Information 

Utah State Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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