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Omicron variant of coronavirus is confirmed in Florida

Researcher holds blood sample for New Variant of the Covid-19 Omicron
Arif Biswas-471655719

Health experts are now reporting the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has arrived in Florida.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has confirmed one case, and the Florida Department of Health is reporting a separate presumptive case.

The Florida Department of Health says it used contact tracing to find anyone else who might have been exposed by the infected person and will provide advice on quarantine protocols as needed. Officials haven’t yet released information about where in the state that case stems from.

Meanwhile, officials say the patient in the case confirmed by a veterans hospital in Tampa recently returned from international travel.

In a statement DOH officials say the department uses three laboratories that are “actively sequencing genomes.” When a variant of concern is detected, the department considers it a presumptive case until the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides a final confirmation.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has a separate process for confirming its cases.

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Regan McCarthy is the Assistant News Director for WFSU Public Media. Before coming to Tallahassee, Regan graduated with honors from Indiana University’s Ernie Pyle School of Journalism. She worked for several years for NPR member station WFIU in Bloomington, Ind., where she covered local and state government and produced feature and community stories.

Phone: (850) 645-6090 | rmccarthy@fsu.edu

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