The second Midwestern case of the omicron coronavirus variant was confirmed in Wisconsin in a resident with “a recent travel history to South Africa,” the state’s health department said on Saturday.
The person with the new variant is an adult male, according to the health department, who resides in Milwaukee County and has just returned from a trip to South Africa.
Wisconsin health officials said the man was fully vaccinated against the virus and had received a booster. He reported mild symptoms and did not require hospitalization.
“We have been prepared for this news and will continue to trust science to help keep Wisconsinites and our communities healthy and safe,” Governor Tony Evers said. “Now is the time to redouble our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant. I urge all eligible Wisconsinites to get vaccinated and receive a booster dose as soon as possible and follow the latest public health guidelines. “
This case is unrelated to a COVID-19 outbreak that the Department of Health Services and the City of Milwaukee Department of Health are currently investigating, officials noted.
Minnesota recorded the Midwest’s first case of the omicron COVID variant on Thursday via a sample from a resident “with a recent travel history to New York,” health officials said.
The person with the variant, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, is an adult male residing in Hennepin County who had been vaccinated. Her symptoms “resolved”.
According to health officials, the person developed mild symptoms on November 22 and was tested for COVID on November 24. He said he traveled to New York and attended the Anime NYC 2021 convention November 19-21 at the Javits Center.
The health department said epidemiologists in Minnesota will continue to investigate alongside New York City and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This news is concerning, but it is not a surprise,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said in a statement. “We know this virus is highly infectious and is moving rapidly around the world. Minnesotans know what to do to protect each other now – get vaccinated, get tested, wear a mask inside and get a booster. Together we can fight this virus and help keep the Minnesotans safe. “
Wisconsin and Minnesota health officials have urged residents to get vaccinated against COVID, wear properly fitted masks, receive a booster if eligible, and get tested if you have symptoms.
So far, the omicron variant has been detected in 12 states in the United States. Here’s a breakdown of the cases and locations.