First omicron COVID-19 case identified in El Paso County

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Digital generated image of Covid-19 cell surrounded by plexus structured shell on black background. (File: Getty)

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo.– An El Paso County man in his 40s is now the first identified case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the county. He is fully vaccinated and received his booster shot, reported mild symptoms during his illness and has completed his isolation period. He has also reported a history of domestic travel during his exposure period. 

This new variant underscores the importance of practicing layered prevention. El Paso County Public Health  recommends that individuals get vaccinated and get their booster shots when eligible. 

Other methods of protection that EPCPH strongly recommends are the use of face coverings in public indoor spaces regardless of vaccination status, staying home when sick, limiting large gatherings and washing hands frequently. 

Vaccination is the best method to reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death due to COVID-19. Early studies have indicated that a booster dose of the vaccine provides additional protection against the Omicron variant while early data shows strong evidence that individuals who have received three doses of an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna) have stronger protection than those who have only received two doses. Vaccination helps protect against severe illness and hospitalization.  

Free COVID-19 tests are available at the Citadel Mall, Chapel Hills Mall, Public Health South in Fountain and at Old Meridian Road and Chicago Avenue in Falcon. The El Paso County and Colorado Springs Vaccine Consortium also offers COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots at over 100 locations in the county.  

The following are important strategies to avoid COVID-19 infection:

  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19 and get your booster shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently expanded COVID-19 booster recommendations for everyone 16 and older. 
  • To get more information on where you can get vaccinated, visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org/how-can-i-get-a-vaccine.  
  • Get tested: Individuals who feel sick or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should seek testing and stay home while ill. 
  • To get more information on where you can get tested, visit www.elpasocountyhealth.org/covid-19-testing-information.
  • If you are ill, consult with your doctor or health care provider to see if you are a candidate for monoclonal antibody treatment or other COVID-19 therapeutics.  
  • Wear a face covering in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status 
  • Consider planning a small gathering for the holidays. If anyone is experiencing symptoms, encourage them to stay home.  
  • Stay home when sick.   

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