State Health Officials Discuss Omicron Variant, COVID Sequencing In Oklahoma


Tuesday, December 7th 2021, 5:35 pm


OKLAHOMA CITY -

The Omicron variant has been found in more than a dozen states in the United States. 

So far, state health officials said there have been no cases of the latest variant of concern, but it has been detected in states that border Oklahoma like Colorado and Missouri.

Health officials are still working to figure out how severe the variant is and how transmissible it is. It has been said it is more transmissible than the Delta variant.

State health leaders said they are working around the clock to sequence at the public health lab for the Omicron variant. 

“So far, we have sequenced over 9,000 specimens,” said Jolianne Stone, the state’s epidemiologist. “We are continuing to sequence weekly.”

Hospitals and labs are required to send 10% of their positive COVID-19 tests that are eligible to be sequenced to the public health lab. 

If and when Omicron is in Oklahoma, Stone said they are prepared to handle it. 

She is urging all hospitals and labs to continue to send them their specimens so they can test as many as possible.