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As Covid cases drop, Omicron discovered

| December 22, 2021 6:40 AM

Hungry Horse News

Department of Public Health and Human Services officials Monday said they have detected the Omicron variant through testing of positive Covid-19 samples from two Montana residents in their 30s with travel history to South Africa. The variant was confirmed through genomic sequencing performed at the Montana State Public Health Laboratory and at Montana State University.

The individuals, who had mild symptoms that are improving, are self-isolating and have been since returning to Montana. They are residents of Gallatin County and were fully vaccinated.

“This is not a surprise as nearly every other state has reported Omicron cases in recent weeks,” DPHHS Director Adam Meier said. “We continue to urge all Montanans to use all available tools to stay healthy this winter, including getting your COVID-19 vaccine and booster and taking other measures to prevent the spread of the virus.”

Montana is the 46th state with a confirmed COVID-19 case caused by the Omicron variant.

The number of Covid-19 cases has dropped dramatically in recent weeks. Flathead County had 120 active cases of Monday — the lowest since the summer.

The county had a running average of 900 to 1,000 active cases in the fall.

All told, Flathead County has had about 21,000 confirmed cases. The county has about 43 percent of its eligible residents fully vaccinated.

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