First cases of Omicron variant identified in GW community

Media Credit: File Photo by Skylar Epstein | Staff Photographer

DC Health had announced the first four cases of the variant in the District on Sunday.

Officials announced GW’s first cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant on Monday.

Administrators said in an email Monday that they had identified a “very small” number of positive Omicron cases in the University community after months of continuous screening of positive COVID-19 cases. DC Health had announced the first four cases of the variant in the District on Sunday.

“As we shared previously, the GW public health team has been conducting genetic sequencing and screening of positive cases over the past several months,” the email reads. “We are now seeing a very small number of positive cases of the Omicron variant among the GW community.”

Officials said the presence of the new variant will not alter the current public health measures in place to protect campus health or the processes toward treating or isolating infected individuals.

Georgetown University announced their first Omicron case Monday morning – an individual who had not been to campus since before Thanksgiving break other than to get a COVID-19 test.

Administrators said they would not share specific case details due to privacy concerns but added that the individuals who contracted the variant had not traveled internationally.

“We are not able to discuss these cases specifically other than to share that the individuals did not travel internationally, which means the Omicron variant is now circulating in the region,” the email reads.

Students, faculty and staff will be required to receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by February, officials also announced on Monday.

Officials said they believe their vaccine and booster mandate alongside the University’s indoor mask requirement and contact tracing programs will help protect GW from COVID-19, adding that they will continue to review new information.

“As always, we will continue to review our public health guidelines based on the latest data about COVID-19 transmission in our community, as well as local and national public health guidance,” officials said. “We will update you on any changes to our guidance.”

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