Omicron Variant Identified In St. Joseph County
(COLDWATER) – The first identified case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been found in St. Joseph County.
The Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency says the variant has been detected. But according to CHA Medical Director Dr. Karen Luparello, it's important to know that not all COVID tests are sequenced, so it is likely that there are additional cases. She says the CHA is encouraging everyone to continue using standard mitigation strategies; stay home if you are not feeling well, wash hands frequently, cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue or your elbow, wear a mask in public or crowded spaces, and get vaccinated or get your booster dose.
Luparello says vaccination is proven to reduce symptom severity, prevent hospitalizations, and deaths.
The CHA continues to offer free curbside testing, with no appointment necessary, in partnership with HONU, at all locations: at the Three Rivers office on Fridays, the Coldwater office on Thursdays, and the Hillsdale office on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. All clinics are open 9 AM until 3:30 PM. Appointments for vaccination at the Health Agency can be made on the CHA website. Click Here.
Local hospitals, physician offices, and pharmacies can also provide testing and vaccination. Please seek testing or vaccination at a location that is convenient for you as soon as possible. Information on additional community resources can also be found at the CHA website.