Omicron COVID variant confirmed in Minnesota; patient was recently in NYC: Officials

Coronavirus

Omicron, the latest COVID-19 variant of concern designated by the World Health Organization, gets its name from a letter in the Greek alphabet. (Photo: Getty Images)

NEW YORK – The second known case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Minnesota, the Minnesota Department of Health confirmed Thursday. The patient recently traveled to New York City.

The Minnesota resident attended Anime NYC 2021 at the Javits Center from Nov. 19-21, according to the department.

The patient is a resident of Hennepin County and had been vaccinated, according to the health department. The man had mild symptoms as of Nov. 22 and was tested for COVID-19 on Nov. 24.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul at a COVID briefing Thursday also said the man’s symptoms were mild. “In fact, those symptoms have already resolved,” she added.

Watch Gov. Hochul’s briefing on the new omicron case and COVID in NY

Hochul advised anyone who was at the convention between Nov. 18 and 22 to get tested immediately.

The governor said there were currently no confirmed omicron cases in New York. However, officials believe it’s only a matter of time.

“We fully expect it to be detected in the coming days,” incoming New York Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett said at Hochul’s briefing.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio echoed that sentiment in a statement Thursday.

“We should assume there is community spread of the variant in our city,” de Blasio said. “We are working closely with the state and the CDC, as well as the Javits Center’s event organizers, and our Test and Trace Corps will be contacting conference attendees,” he added.

Both the governor and the mayor confirmed that the convention required masks and complied with the city’s Key2NYC vaccination requirements for entry.

Minnesota epidemiologists are working with NYC and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials to investigate the case, the health department said.

The first known omicron case in the U.S. was announced Wednesday. The patient had recently traveled from South Africa to California.

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