An NPR member station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Health officials announce arrival of omicron variant in Washington

WA Department of Health/Facebook screenshot

Washington health officials say the omicron Covid variant is now in the Evergreen State. This weekend state Health Secretary Umair Shah announced three cases have been identified in western Washington.

“At this point, the likelihood is that we are going to see more confirmations, but I think we also have to balance that with remembering our biggest concern right now is delta. Delta variant in our state. That right now is impacting people as we speak with severe disease and we want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to protect against that most urgently," he said.

The three cases were reported in King, Pierce and Thurston counties, one in each. Those identified are two men and a woman in their 20s and 30s. Officials say they don't believe the cases are related and they don’t know yet how they got to Washington.

Health officials expect to see more cases here, but they say it could be awhile before they know about its severity and transmissibility. Shah urges people to get vaccinated to reduce their chances of contracting Covid.

One of the Northwest's most seasoned reporters is returning to his SPR roots. Doug Nadvornick will be heard frequently on KPBX and KSFC reporting on local news.