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Omicron Variant identified in Van Buren County resident

LAWRENCE – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) notified Van Buren/Cass District Health Department that the Omicron variant has been identified in a Van Buren County resident.
“It was only a matter of time until the Omicron variant made its way to our district but the latest identification further emphasizes the importance of testing, especially after the holidays.
With limited testing availability, it is evermore important to keep wearing masks in public and self-quarantining if you have been exposed to COVID-19,” said Danielle Persky, Health Officer, VBCDHD.
According to the CDC, the Omicron variant will likely spread more easily. How easily Omicron spreads, compared to the Delta variant, remains unknown. The CDC expects that anyone with the Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms. Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations, and deaths due to infection with the Omicron variant. Breakthrough infections in people who are fully vaccinated, however, are likely to occur.

The following prevention strategies help reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus and can help limit variants:
Vaccination (5 years and older) and Booster doses for those eligible
Testing for COVID-19 if you have symptoms, 5 days after being exposed to someone with COVID-19, especially before gatherings
Mask wearing in public indoor spaces
Social distancing from others
Staying home if you are sick or have symptoms
Isolation if you test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms
Notify your close contacts if you test positive
Quarantine if you have been exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID-19
Follow recommendations for traveling
COVID-19 rapid antigen testing and PCR testing are available to individuals of any age, regardless of symptoms. Find a testing site here. Two new free, rapid antigen COVID-19 testing sites are available in Cass and Van Buren County. Testing site details are as follows:

CASS COUNTY
Ascension Borgess-Lee Hospital
420 W. High Street, Dowagiac
Every Monday 7:30 a.m. -3:30pm
Every Wednesday 1 p.m. -7 p.m.

VAN BUREN COUNTY (Beginning January 4, 2022)
Bangor High School Football Stadium Team Room (drive-thru)
801 W. Arlington Street Bangor, MI 49013
Every Tuesday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Every Thursday 3 p.m, -7 p.m.

For more information, visit www.vbcassdhd.org or www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

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