EAST LANSING, MI – Michigan State University has detected its first known case of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
The case was confirmed on Friday, December 17, according to university spokesperson Dan Olsen. It will be sent to state health authorities for further genetic sequencing.
âThis underscores the importance of protective measures that we know can work against COVID and its variants, including masking indoors and in large gatherings as well as vaccination and recall,â Olsen said.
The university has not confirmed whether it was a student or a staff member. It was detected on the last day of the Michigan state fall semester.
Related: What you need to know about the omicron variant of the coronavirus
The omicron variant was considered a “variant of concern” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on November 30. This classification is assigned to variants if they show evidence of being more contagious, causing more serious disease, or resistant to diagnoses, treatments, or vaccines.
Michigan’s first case of omicron was discovered in Kent County on December 9.
Omicron has also been confirmed in Genesee and Washtenaw counties, including the University of Michigan.
Michigan State University also announced on Friday that the COVID-19 booster would be required for all students, faculty and staff for the 2022 spring semester. Olsen said the university already has an immunization rate by 91%.
âThis goes a long way in protecting our campus in addition to the mask requirement,â Olsen said. âAdding a spring booster now on top of that will be an important and critical step we will take to continue to make the campus as safe as possible. “
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