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CDC on alert for new omicron variant

Herald Tribune Report
updated: 12/1/2021 9:26 AM

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention continues to monitor COVID-19 in the United States for the newly emerging omicron variant, which was identified last week by the World Health Organization. No cases of this variant have been identified in the United States to date.

On Monday, the CDC broadened its recommendation for COVID-19 booster shots for all adults 18 and up. According to The Associated Press, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said the new guidance reflects the emergence of the omicron variant, which officials say will inevitably reach the country.

"Everyone ages 18 and older should get a booster shot either when they are 6 months after their initial Pfizer or Moderna series or 2 months after their initial J and J vaccine," she said in a statement.

The Randolph County Health Department is reporting 36 active cases of COVID-19 as of Monday, with four people hospitalized from the virus. Of the active cases, 12 are new cases. According to the CDC COVID data tracker, community transmission is high in Randolph County, which has a seven-day positivity rate of 2.67%.

The health department continues to host free clinics to administer the first, second, third and booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Call (618) 826-5007 to make an appointment. Clinics are from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. (unless stated otherwise) on the following dates:

• Wednesday, Dec. 1, Moderna booster

• Friday, Dec. 3, Moderna booster

• Wednesday, Dec. 8, Pfizer pediatric vaccine for ages 5-11, 2-4 p.m.

• Thursday, Dec. 9, Pfizer (adult)

COVID-19 vaccines and booster doses also are available at Walmart, CVS, Walgreens and Kroger pharmacies.