1st case of omicron variant detected in New Jersey

Coronavirus Update New Jersey

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Saturday, December 4, 2021
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CeFaan Kim has more on the first COVID omicron variant case detected in New Jersey.

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- Governor Phil Murphy and New Jersey Department of Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli announced that the New Jersey Department of Health has identified a case of the omicron variant in a traveler to the state.

The individual, an adult female, who is a fully vaccinated Georgia resident, had recently traveled to South Africa.

Since testing positive on November 28, the woman has remained in isolation. She experienced moderate symptoms and is now recovering after receiving care in a North Jersey emergency department. The New Jersey Department of Health laboratory performed sequencing on the specimen to confirm it was the omicron variant.

"The omicron variant is among us and we need to take steps to stop its spread. It is vital that residents remain as vigilant as possible as we await more information about the variant," Murphy said. "Vaccinations and mask wearing have proven to be an effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and I urge everyone ages 18 and over to receive a booster."

The Georgia Department of Public Health has been notified of a Georgia resident currently in New Jersey who has tested positive for COVID-19 and the Omicron variant.

The individual recently traveled from South Africa and was in Georgia for two days before traveling on to New Jersey where the testing and sequencing were done. The individual is fully vaccinated, and is isolating in New Jersey.

"With cases increasing and the identification of the omicron in the state, the fight against COVID-19 is not over,"Persichilli said. "We are still learning about the omicron variant, but we have tools to stop the spread of the virus, most important among them is to get vaccinated and get a booster dose. The public should continue to mask up, get tested if they have symptoms, physically distance, avoid crowded events, stay home when sick and wash hands frequently."

The news comes a day after New York officials announced five cases of the variant in the New York metro area.

"I'm not scaring people, I'm just saying if you're not boosted, go out and get that booster today," Gov. Kathy Hochul said. "Because that's the extra suit of armor that you need around you."

Hochul announced hospital capacity restrictions will be enforced next week and they must have 10% capacity by Friday. At least 31 states in the hospital are facing those capacity limits, but none are in the metro area.

RELATED | 'Caution not panic': Officials confirm 5 omicron cases in New York

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