How Many U.S. Omicron Cases Are There? COVID Variant Detected in at Least Five States

Nine cases of the COVID Omicron variant have been detected so far in the U.S., across five different states.

On Thursday, New York Governor Kathy Hochul confirmed the state has reported five cases of the variant.

In a tweet, she said the cases were "not cause for alarm," adding: "We knew this variant was coming and we have the tools to stop the spread. Get your vaccine. Get your booster. Wear your mask."

The announcement came shortly after health authorities in Minnesota confirmed a case of the Omicron variant in the state in a person who had recently traveled to New York City.

The individual who was found to have the variant is an adult male resident of Hennepin County who had been vaccinated. His mild symptoms started on November 22 and have since resolved, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) said in a press release.

Speaking to investigators, the person said they had attended the Anime NYC 2021 convention in New York City at the Javits Center from November 19 to 21.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio issued a statement online that read: "Anyone who attended the AnimeNYC conference, especially anyone experiencing symptoms, should get tested immediately and take additional precautions, including social distancing."

Meanwhile, a case of the Omicron variant was also reported in Colorado on Thursday. It was in a fully vaccinated adult female resident of Arapahoe County who had recently traveled to South Africa for tourism, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. She had not received a booster shot.

The health department added she was experiencing minor symptoms and recuperating at home.

The Hawaii Department of Health also reported a case that same day in what it described as "a case of community spread."

The individual, a resident of O'ahu, had no history of travel, the health department said. They had previously had COVID, but did not get vaccinated. They were experiencing moderate symptoms.

"This announcement serves as a reminder to be extremely careful to protect ourselves and our loved ones, especially during the holiday season," said Hawaii State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble in a news release.

Thursday's Omicron case reports came after California health officials confirmed the first reported U.S. case on Wednesday in an individual who had returned from South Africa on November 22.

The person had "mild symptoms that are improving," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement. It added all of the person's close contacts had been contacted and tested negative as of December 1.

COVID test
A health worker holds a COVID swab test at a testing site in Los Angeles, California, in July 2020. The U.S.' first reported Omicron case was announced this week. Valerie Macon/AFP / Getty