Health officials confirm first case of Omicron COVID-19 variant in Iowa

Published: Dec. 9, 2021 at 12:23 PM CST
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BLACK HAWK COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - The Iowa Department of Public Health and the State Hygienic Lab on Thursday confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Iowa.

IDPH said the case involves an unvaccinated person under the age of 18 who lives in Black Hawk County.

The family told Health officials the person remains asymptomatic, but was tested due to travel exposure and public health guidance.

“Black Hawk County Public Health acted quickly to initiate contact with the family and remain in contact to monitor the health of the individual,” IDPH said in a release. “Proactive measures taken by the involved family, leadership of the county health department along with support provided by SHL underscore the strength of our public health process. It is because of this process that Iowans are informed about virus activity in the state. As always, COVID-19 infected individuals are advised to isolate in accordance with IDPH and CDC guidance.”

IDPH interim Director Kelly Garcia urged Iowans to get vaccinated and said there is emerging evidence the booster dose offers protection against Omicron.

Two hospitals in Cedar Rapids also recommended the booster, offering data to support the booster’s efficacy.

“People who have received the booster shot do not appear to be having the breakthrough infections requiring hospitalization we are seeing with those who are not boosted,” said Dr. Dustin Arnold, chief medical officer at Unity Point Health - St. Luke’s Hospital.

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