US Three omicron cases of COVID-19 identified in Maryland: Gov. Hogan
Omicron Variant: Germany, Czech Republic Report Suspected Cases After U.K. Confirmation
Several countries, including the U.S., Japan and Israel, have announced travel restrictions to avoid the mass spread of the latest COVID variant.Germany's Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration said Saturday that an individual who traveled to Germany from South Africa is suspected to be infected with the Omicron variant.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) announced thatof COVID-19 were identified Friday among Maryland residents in the Baltimore area.
The virus was tested by the Maryland Department of Health's Public Health Laboratory and partners.
Two of the cases stem from the same household, the press release notes, including a vaccinated individual who recently returned from traveling to South Africa and a person in close contact with him or her who was not vaccinated. The third case is not related and the person does not have a notable travel history to trace the contact of the disease.
Scotland Officials Concerned Omicron Variant Has Community Spread as 6 Cases Confirmed
Countries throughout the world are taking action to prevent a proliferation of the variant as scientists are still working to determine the danger it poses. Some nations like Japan have decided to block any foreign visitors in an effort to stop the highly mutated variant from entering its borders even as cases began popping up around the globe, AP reported.For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.New cases in Portugal and Scotland might already point toward local spread of the variant outside of southern Africa.
Hogan's release states that contact tracing is being conducted to quarantine and test people who may have also been exposed.
Video: Colorado hospitals grapple with COVID-19 resurgence (ABC News)
"Thanks to our aggressive surveillance system, we have quickly identified the first cases of the Omicron variant in Maryland," Hogan said. "We urge Marylanders to continue taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Getting a vaccine or a booster shot is the single most important thing that you can do to protect yourself and those around you.
"This is a rapidly evolving situation, and we will continue to keep Marylanders updated as new information becomes available," he added.
Americans face at least 2 weeks of uncertainty as scientists work to answer 3 key questions about the new Omicron variant
Americans face at least two weeks of uncertainty before major questions may get answered about the Omicron variant of the coronavirus. © Steve Pfost/Newsday/Getty Images Stony Brook, N.Y.: Robert Baird, of Centereach, New York is given a booster shot as members of the community are administered the COVID-19 vaccination and booster at Stony Brook University Research and Development Park in Stony Brook, New York on Nov. 17, 2021.
The omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in California, New York, Colorado, Minnesota, Hawaii, Nebraska,.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) also isthat may be used to tackle the omicron variant, if needed.
According to a person familiar with the matter, the steps laid out would ensure that a modified vaccine for omicron would only take about three months to approve under the reported FDA steps.
White House chief medical adviser Anthony Fauci said Friday, "We could probably get a good bit of mileage just from boosting with the ancestral strain vaccine that we already have."
Rhode Island reports first case of omicron variant .
Rhode Island has reported its first case of the omicron variant, making it one of the dozens of states to have detected the new COVID-19 strain. Gov. Dan McKee (D) and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) announced the omicron case in a joint statement on Saturday. The infected individual is in their 20s and recently traveled from New York to Providence, according to the statement. The individual was fully vaccinated, but did not have a booster shot. "We fully expected that Omicron would eventually be detected in Rhode Island as it has been in our neighboring states. I want to be clear: Rhode Island is prepared. This is not cause for panic," McKee said. Video: U.K.