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New COVID Variant Confirmed in Maryland

December 3rd, 2021 by WCBC Radio

State health officials confirmed three cases of the COVID-19 omicron variant in Maryland.

The omicron variant's presence in Maryland was confirmed by the Maryland Department of Health Public Health Laboratory, in collaboration with partner laboratories.

All three of the cases involve individuals from the Baltimore area — two cases are from the same household, including a vaccinated individual who recently traveled to South Africa and an unvaccinated person who was a close contact of that individual. One unrelated case involves a vaccinated individual with no known recent travel history. None of the three individuals are hospitalized.

Comprehensive contact tracing efforts are underway to ensure that potential close contacts are quickly identified, quarantined and tested.

"Thanks to our aggressive surveillance system, we have quickly identified the first cases of the omicron variant in Maryland," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement. "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."