Michigan's first positive case of the omicron variant of coronavirus has been confirmed in Kent County.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced the omicron case on Thursday, December 9th in a statement posted to the government's website. "We are concerned, although not surprised, about the discovery of the Omicron variant in Michigan," said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director.

The Kent County resident first tested positive for COVID-19 on December 3 and it was later discovered through DNA sequencing that they had been infected by the omicron variant. MDHHS is following the case closely and contacting any individuals who may have come in contact with the individual who tested positive.

Vaccine records from the Kent County Health Department indicate that the individual that tested positive for the omicron variant was vaccinated but had not yet received their booster dose.

The omicron variant might not be as bad as originally thought after dozens of new cases have been studied by virologists in North America. New statements from the World Health Organization and Dr. Fauci indicate that the omicron variant may actually be less severe than previously thought.

"It appears that with the cases that are seen, we are not seeing a very severe profile of disease," Fauci said in a White House briefing Tuesday. "In fact, it might, I underscore might, be less severe as shown by the ratio of hospitalizations per number of new cases."

The omicron variant has now been reported in over 20 other states across the United States and is expected to spread further. MDHHS used the appearance of the omicron variant to encourage Michiganders to get vaccinated or get their booster shots if eligible.

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