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Maryland has three confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Hogan says – CBS Baltimore

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) Governor Larry Hogan on Friday announced three Marylanders with the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

All three residents of the Baltimore area. The two cases were in the same household, including a vaccinated person who recently traveled to South Africa and an unvaccinated person who was a close relative, Hogan’s office said.

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Another unrelated case involved a person who was vaccinated but had no recent travel.

None of the three confirmed cases required hospitalization.

“Thanks to our active surveillance system, we quickly identified the first cases of the Omicron variant in Maryland,” said Hogan. “We urge Marylanders to continue taking precautions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. Vaccination or booster shots are the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself and those around you. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to update the Marylanders as new information becomes available. ”

The Omicron strain – first discovered in South Africa – has more than 50 mutations and has alarmed health officials worldwide. New York, California, Hawaii, Minnesota and Colorado also have reported cases of the Omicron variant.

Speaking at a press conference earlier this week, Hogan said he was worried about the new variant, but don’t expect any more lockdowns.

“We will be encouraging people to go back to the things that have kept us safe in the first place, which may mean some social distancing, face coverings, but most importantly vaccinations,” the governor said. know on Monday.

The Governor encouraged Marylanders to get vaccinated or booster shots. “Obviously you’re much better off being vaccinated. If you haven’t received the booster, you’re more at risk. “

Hogan said he received a briefing Monday from the state’s COVID-19 Response Team about the new variant.

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The effectiveness of the vaccine against Omicron is still unknown.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa told WJZ that has caused concern among health professionals.

“We’re not sure yet if it makes this particular version easier to convey,” she said. “That’s what scientists are really racing around the clock to figure out.”

She still encourages people to get vaccinated and says now is the right time to vaccinate eligible children. “It’s just a reminder that we are not out of this problem,” Dr. Dzirasa said.

Maryland 1,700 new COVID-19 cases reported on Friday, as the state passed 11,000 deaths from the virus.

In response to Friday’s news, Anne Arundel County officials and public health agencies urged residents to get vaccinated and booster shots if they haven’t already done so.

County Executive Steuart Pittman said county authorities were preparing for the new variant, which has been described as potentially more contagious than other variants. He said the county has an effective arsenal at its disposal, but he challenges every citizen to do their part.

“My request is that all of us enlist in the army,” Pittman said. “Please get vaccinated, boosted, masked, and tested, and begged those you love to do the same. That is how we will continue to save lives.”

Fortunately for Marylanders, there is a blueprint in place to stop the spread of the virus, said Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, county health officer.

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“It’s like what we do now. Get vaccinated, although you are required to be in public places and get tested if you have symptoms,” Dr. Kalyanaraman said.

https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2021/12/03/maryland-has-three-confirmed-cases-of-the-omicron-variant-hogan-says/ Maryland has three confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, Hogan says – CBS Baltimore

JOE HERNANDEZ

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