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Omicron variant detected in NKY

Gov. Beshear speaks on Omicron variant detected in Kentucky
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 7:00 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 18, 2021 at 2:40 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WXIX) - Gov. Andy Beshear announced Saturday that the Omicron variant had been detected in Northern Kentucky.

During his press conference Saturday, Gov. Beshear said that the variant had been detected in Kenton and Campbell Counties. It was also detected in Fayette and Jefferson Counties.

Dr. Steven Stack says that this variant doubles in the community very quickly.

More than 75 countries have reported confirmed cases of Omicron, including South Africa and the United Kingdom. Dr. Stack says that the case numbers in those counties have spiked, but the number of hospitalizations has not matched up to that spike.

Ohio health officials confirmed a case of the omicron variant last weekend.

RELATED | Pfizer confirms COVID pill’s results, potency versus omicron

Early data suggest omicron spreads to some degree faster than the original virus. It could also produce milder sickness.

“We can go from Omicron not being present at all to Omicron being half or more of all the variants of COVID in the state in the span of just a couple weeks,” Dr. Stack said.

He adds that those planning to go to holiday parties or other related activities should upgrade their masks and take at-home tests.

The White House on Wednesday insisted there was no need for a new lockdown because vaccines are widely available and appear to offer protection against the worst consequences of the virus.

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