SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) — The San Antonio Metropolitan Health District announced today that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in Bexar County.

According to Metro Health, two cases of the variant have been confirmed via genome testing done by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

“The samples were collected from patients on Nov. 27 and Dec. 7, 2021. Samples are sequenced from the UT Health San Antonio Molecular Diagnostic clinical laboratory, as well as University Health and Community Labs,” said Dr. Marjorie David, director of the Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, also known as UT Health San Antonio.

Metro Health Director Claude A. Jacob said that getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best defense and protection against the virus and the Omicron variant.  Metro Health recommends that those who have been inoculated to also receive a booster of the vaccine.

“University Health continues to care for patients who are ill with COVID-19, including those admitted to the hospital for serious disease,” said Dr. Bryan Alsip, executive vice president and chief medical officer for University Health. “As we continue to learn more from the rapidly evolving situation around the Omicron variant, it is important to remember that vaccination and practices that limit potential exposure are still the best way for people to protect themselves and others from any COVID-19 variant.”

According to Metro Health, early reports on the Omicron variant indicate the virus causes milder symptoms than COVID-19 or the Delta variant. The health department urges any eligible residents planning to gather for the holidays to get vaccinated to avoid a post-holiday surge.

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