Omicron COVID-19 variant confirmed in Oakland County

The Omicron COVID-19 variant is in Oakland County, health officials confirmed Friday.

MORE: Michigan's first Omicron variant detected in Kent County

According to the Oakland County Health Department, a fully vaccinated resident who has not received a booster shot tested positive for the variant after traveling internationally.

The resident tested positive on Dec. 5 and a lab confirmed it was the Omicron variant on Thursday. The resident told the health department that they did not have any close contacts since getting home.

"The bad news is that Omicron is here. The good news is our main tools still work as with any variant - masking regardless of vaccine status, distance, and vaccinations including booster doses," Health Division Medical Director Dr. Russell Faust said. "Even if Omicron is slightly resistant to immunity to other variants, increasing your immunity through vaccinations will help prevent infection, hospitalization, and death."

Related: Michigan State University mandates COVID-19 vaccine booster

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time

According to CDC, the Omicron variant will likely spread more easily than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus. How easily Omicron spreads compared to the Delta variant remains unknown. 

CDC expects that anyone with the Omicron infection can spread the virus to others, even if they are vaccinated or don’t have symptoms. With other variants, like Delta, vaccines have remained effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death and are expected to do the same against Omicron. The recent emergence of Omicron further emphasizes the importance of primary vaccinations and boosters.