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Omicron COVID-19 variant reaches Arizona

Since it reached the U.S. just over a week ago, the omicron coronavirus variant has spread to at least 20 states.

Now, the Arizona Department of Health Services and Yavapai County Community Health Services in north-central Arizona have confirmed the first known omicron case in the state.

Much remains unknown about the variant, but experts believe it spreads more readily than pre-delta coronavirus variants.

Hear Will Humble discuss the omicron variant with Host Lauren Gilger on The Show


Some early, non-peer-reviewed studies suggest vaccines might not offer as much protection against omicron infection but will still fulfill their key roles of protecting against severe illness, hospitalization and death.

Health officials say omicron’s emergence underlines the importance of vaccinations, boosters and basic precautions like masks, hygiene and distancing.

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Nicholas Gerbis was a senior field correspondent for KJZZ from 2016 to 2024.