The Omicron Variant of COVID-19 has quickly made it's way around the world. It all started on November 11 and 14th, when the variant was originally discovered in Botswana and South Africa.
On November 24th, it was reported to the World Health Organization and later labeled as a "Variant of Concern," meaning it has a higher transmissibility rate than other variants.
December 1st, the first Omicron case in the US is confirmed. One of the case was from someone who had recently traveled to South Africa and the other, from someone who attended a convention.
Due to the recent spikes and potential for more in the Tri-Cities and Yakima area, nearly 1,080 people have tested positive in Benton and Franklin Counties combined. For Yakima County, nearly 1,535 cases alone.
With a new variant quickly spreading throughout the state and our regions, it's important to get vaccinated and if you already are, get a booster dose.
As of December 27, only 37.4 percent of the states residents were not vaccinated.
Among the three county there have been nearly 5,000 hospitalizations and about 1,200 deaths from the virus. About 1.2 percent of reported COVID cases, lead to death.
So with the constant mutations and discovery of variants, be sure to schedule a booster of vaccine doses.
The CDC encourages to check their website or the state's website to find a location near you to schedule you booster or vaccine appointment.