State Hygienic Lab confirms first case of omicron variant in Iowa

The State Hygienic Lab and Iowa Department of Public Health confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 in Black Hawk County on Thursday.

Sabine Martin, News Editor

The University of Iowa State Hygienic Lab confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 omicron variant in an Iowa resident under the age of 18 in Black Hawk County.

The Iowa Department of Public Health said on Thursday that the individual remains asymptomatic and the patient’s family sought testing based on public health guidance because of travel exposure.

The IDPH wrote in a release on Thursday that the county health department and the patient’s family acted quickly to initiate contact. The State Hygienic Lab will continue sequence test samples that look like the omicron and other variants.

IDPH Interim Director Kelly Garcia encouraged Iowans to get the booster shot, as it offers protection against the newest variant.

“Vaccinated Iowans who have not yet received a booster should do so as soon as possible,” Garcia said. “To those who haven’t been vaccinated for COVID-19 yet, I urge you to speak with your health care provider about the vaccine’s benefits for you and those around you.”