RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — The Virginia Department of Health has confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant in the Commonwealth. Officials say it was found in the northwest region.

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“We knew it was only a matter of time before we would record our first Omicron infection in the Commonwealth,” said State Health Commissioner M. Norman Oliver, M.D., M.A. “This drives home the challenge the COVID-19 virus presents to the world as the virus changes and mutates over time. Scientists are hard at work studying the newly identified variant to understand how easily it spreads and how sick it makes people.”

Officials say the person with the confirmed case had no history of international travel, but did have a history of domestic travel, during the exposure period.

At this time, there is no evidence that infection with this variant causes more severe disease, but there is evidence that persons who have previously had COVID-19 might be at greater risk for reinfection with Omicron.

To date, the Omicron variant has been identified in 21 other U.S. states or jurisdictions.

“Do your part,” added Oliver. “Get vaccinated if you are eligible. Get your booster shot if you’re eligible. Vaccination is how Virginia, the U.S. and the world will put this pandemic behind us.”