Nearly 150 Omicron cases identified in Dane County, health officials say

COVID-19 test
Posted at 4:19 PM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 17:20:15-05

MADISON, Wis. — Nearly 150 cases of the COVID-19 variant Omicron have been detected in Dane County, Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMD) announced Tuesday.

Health officials say this number likely only represents a portion of the overall number of cases. It also indicates rapid growth from the initial three cases that were just identified five days ago on Dec. 16.

“We’ve seen Omicron spread rapidly in other countries and states, so this isn’t a surprise,” said Janel Heinrich, Director of Public Health Madison & Dane County. “We will likely see rapid spread of Omicron in Dane County in the coming days and weeks. We all need to be prepared and take action now so that we can preserve our hospital capacity and prevent severe outcomes.”

Due to how easily Omicron spreads, health officials say indoor activities are now bringing a greater risk than before.

"We urge everyone to use caution and planning before gathering for the winter holidays to limit the spread to vulnerable people," PHMD said. "This includes getting tested before gathering or traveling to gatherings, limiting other activities before holiday gatherings, and staying home if you have any symptoms, even if they’re mild."

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