Second Omicron Case in U.S. Found in Man Who Traveled to NYC Anime Convention

Public health officials have confirmed what appears to be the second case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant in the U.S.

On Thursday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that Minnesota health officials confirmed that a male resident of the state, who is fully vaccinated, had mild symptoms due to the Omicron variant, and has since recovered. The man attended the Anime NYC convention in late November, then developed symptoms.

“He had been vaccinated. The person developed mild symptoms on November 22nd and sought COVID-19 testing on November 24th. The person’s symptoms have resolved. The person spoke with the Minnesota Public Health Department investigators and reported traveling to New York City and attending the Anime New York City 2021 convention at the Javits Center from the 19th through the 21st,” Psaki told reporters.

The first case of the Omicron variant was reported in California on Wednesday from a person who returned to San Francisco from a trip to South Africa, where the new variant was first detected and has been spreading rapidly in the region.

At a Thursday press conference, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said there hasn’t been any cases of Omicron in the state, but that residents should prepare for the possibility that there will be soon. Earlier this week, she urged resident to continue wearing masks indoors and to get vaccinated.

“We are very cognizant of the fact that it’s very likely soon that someone is going to test positive for this,” she said.

The person in California who tested positive for the Omicron variant was also fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms but had not yet received a booster shot, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday. Health officials have urged people around the country to get the booster shot in order to lessen transmission of the Omicron variant, which is more easily spreadable, as the winter approaches.

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