First omicron case confirmed in suburban Cook County


FOREST PARK, Ill. – The Cook County Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that the first known case of omicron was reported Tuesday in suburban Cook County.

According to a news release from the CCDPH, the person is asymptomatic and has received at least two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

There are other cases that are currently being genotyped for omicron, according to the release.

“As expected, Omicron has arrived in suburban Cook County and we must take every possible precaution to prevent this highly-contagious variant from spreading rapidly,” said Dr. Rachel Rubin, Co-Lead and Senior Medical Officer, Cook County Department of Public Health. “Vaccinations, including booster shots, are vital. Masking indoors in all public spaces is mandated in the county and must continue. And we urge unvaccinated residents to not attend any holiday celebrations or social events during this time.”

The news of the first omicron case comes as the delta variant continues to surge in the area. Preliminary data shows some good news regarding omicron.

“Preliminary data, though it’s not been completely confirmed yet, but preliminary data does indicate that Omicron is a milder form of COVID,” Cook Cook Health Dr. Rachel Rubin said.

As of Wednesday, 3,614 Illinois residents are hospitalized with COVID-19. Of those, 759 are in the ICU.

Health officials advise that those gathering with individuals outside the household, indoor masking, physically distancing, and proper hand washing are urged. It is also advised to test all participants two to three days before gathering with others and within 24 hours of the event.

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