Omicron variant found in at least 15 U.S. states -CDC chief

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky gives her opening statement during the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions hearing on "Next Steps: The Road Ahead for the COVID-19 Response" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., November 4, 2021. REUTERS/Elizabeth Frantz

WASHINGTON, Dec 5 (Reuters) - The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has been found in about 15 U.S. states so far, but the Delta variant remains the majority of COVID-19 cases nationwide, the head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday.

"We know we have several dozen cases and we're following them closely. And we are every day hearing about more and more probable cases so that number is likely to rise," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told ABC News in an interview, adding more data is still needed.

At least 15 states have reported Omicron cases: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin, according to a Reuters tally.

Louisiana has also reported a probable case, while the person reported in New Jersey had also previously traveled to Georgia, which also reported the positive test.

Still, Walensky said Delta accounted for most cases in the United States and as vaccines are known to protect against hospitalization and death, health officials hope they will blunt the impact of Omicron as well.

She said that of the 90,000 to 100,000 cases a day, 99.9% of them are the Delta variant.

"We have an issue right now in the United States about Delta," Walensky told ABC's "This Week" program.

Reporting by Susan Heavey; editing by Grant McCool

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Comments / 45

George Gibbs

The common cold... People have impaired their immune system by wearing masks. This makes them vulnerable to things that previously would have caused no harm.


Every Covid variant spread so quickly when it gets here. South Africa still counting less than 10,000 but just give us two weeks and we will be in 100, 000

mike guyton

They just need the sheep to line up for their boosters and in 3 months there will be another variant requiring another booster


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