The city’s health department said Friday that a Philadelphia resident tested positive with the COVID-19 Omicron strain.
According to authorities, that individual is a male in his 30s from Northwest Philadelphia. Health Commissioner Cheryl Bettigole told Action News that he had just minor symptoms. It is not yet clear how the individual became infected with the virus.
The individual tested positive outside the city, according to Bettigole, and the state alerted the city.
According to the agency, it is working with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Officials from the health department issued a warning to “all Philadelphians to take measures, considering the risk that this new strain may be more transmissible.”
Recommendations include rethinking plans for indoor Christmas parties and activities.
“We have been preparing for the possibility of an Omicron case in Philadelphia since the discovery of this new type,” stated Mayor Jim Kenney in a statement. “A novel variety, particularly one that may be more transmissible, implies that we must be serious in taking precautions to safeguard ourselves.
I understand that this news is extremely disheartening as we approach the holiday season, but we can get through it together. Now is the time to obtain your vaccine or booster, put on a mask, and take additional measures while going out in public or gathering with other homes.”
“It’s not surprising that we’d have Omicron here in Philadelphia,” said Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole. “Because there is a case of this new variation in the area, it is not too late to take measures. There are steps you may do to safeguard yourself and your loved ones. This is not like the first time we observed COVID situations. We know what works, and we’ve been doing a tremendous job at it.”
“Get immunized first and foremost. If you haven’t obtained your COVID immunization yet, do so right now. If you require a second dosage, receive it as soon as possible. Get your booster shot today if it’s been two months since your Johnson & Johnson shot or six months after your Pfizer or Moderna shot. Every youngster above the age of five is eligible for vaccination and should begin their two-dose series as soon as feasible.”
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