Kansas identifies potential omicron variant case, governor's office says

Omicron Unknowns
Posted at 1:17 PM, Dec 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-15 14:17:34-05

TOPEKA — Kansas' state health department has identified a potential case of COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant, Gov. Laura Kelly said Wednesday.

Kelly told reporters after a public event that health officials believed they had identified two potential omicron variant cases this past weekend, but genetic testing of patient samples ruled out one of them. Testing on the other has not been completed.

At least 30 states have confirmed cases linked to the omicron variant, but Kansas has yet to announce that it has. Kelly said that confirming an omicron case "won't change the approach" in addressing the novel coronavirus' continued spread.

An average of 1,609 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases a day were reported in Kansas for the seven days ending Wednesday, according to state health department data. New COVID-19 hospitalizations averaged 47 a day and deaths, 18 a day, during the same period.

Federal data said 56% of Kansas' 2.9 million residents had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Wednesday, compared to the national figure of 61%. But 28% of the state's population has received booster shots, compared to the national figure of 27%.