Is the Omicron variant in Clay County or Missouri?

The first COVID-19 case caused by Omicron in Missouri was announced December 3, 2021. The Missouri Dept. of Health & Senior Services was notified by public health partners of a sample presumed positive for the Omicron variant originating from a St. Louis City resident who had recent domestic travel history. The sample was originally sequenced as part of commercial laboratory surveillance and results are currently awaiting confirmation by the CDC.

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1. What is the Omicron variant?
2. Is the Omicron variant in the United States?
3. Is the Omicron variant in Clay County or Missouri?
4. Why should I care about Omicron?
5. Is Omicron more dangerous than other variants?
6. How can I protect myself from Omicron?
7. Do the COVID-19 vaccines protect against Omicron?
8. What are the symptoms of the Omicron variant?
9. Why are there new variants of COVID-19?
10. Can I learn what type of COVID I have?
11. How are variants discovered?
12. How does Omicron compare to Delta?