DES MOINES, Iowa – The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Iowa, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
IDPH says the State Hygienic Lab confirmed the testing, which was found in a Black Hawk County resident under the age of 18. Officials say the individual was not vaccinated and remains asymptomatic. The family sought testing because of travel exposure, based the public health guidance.
Information about when the individual tested positive was not released.
“There is emerging evidence that a booster dose of vaccine offers protection against Omicron, which is great news. Vaccinated Iowans who have not yet received a booster should do so as soon as possible,” said IDPH interim Director Kelly Garcia. “I want to emphasize how grateful I am to Iowans who have chosen to get vaccinated, thank you. 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.”
According to the IDPH the State Hygienic Lab will continue to prioritize sequencing of test samples that look suspicious for Omicron and other COVID-19 variants.
The state’s coronavirus dashboard shows that according to CDC data, 57.2% of all Iowans ages 12 and up have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.