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Omicron variant detected in Pennsylvania

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The South African doctor who alerted officials of the possibility of a new variant, later named omicron, said the “unusual but mild” symptoms were what caught her attention. (Photo: Getty Images)

EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — A Northwest Philadelphia resident has tested positive for the omicron variant of COVID-19, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

The health department says a man in his 30s tested positive and they are working to get more information about the case.

“This announcement is in addition to cases identified in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Minnesota, and New York. Some basic information on these cases has been published and thus far all have reported mild symptoms,” the department’s website stated.

“Since the discovery of this new variant, we have been preparing for the likelihood of an Omicron case in Philadelphia,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “A new variant, especially one that may be more transmissible, means that we have to stay vigilant about taking steps to protect ourselves and everyone around us. I know that this news is especially discouraging as we enter the holiday season, but we can get through this together. Now is the time to get your vaccine or booster, mask up, and take extra precautions when you are going out in public or getting together with other households.”

The health department is warning all Philadelphians to take necessary precautions, including possible changes to indoor holiday plans.

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