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Case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is confirmed in Sandwell | Sandwell Council

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Case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is confirmed in Sandwell

Published 6th December 2021

One case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has now been confirmed in Sandwell.

Thanks to a new contact tracing system, the infected person and their contacts were already self-isolating before the variant was confirmed.

Sandwell Council was one of the first local authorities in the country to refine its contact tracing service to pick up suspected cases of omicron early.  This includes using a range of new information, including S Gene Target Failure (SGTF) data, which gives an early signal that a coronavirus case may be omicron.

As a result, the person that was confirmed as having an omicron infection last night had already been asked to isolate, along with their close contacts, last week.  This will have significantly reduced the risk of onward infection.

Sandwell’s Public Health team is working closely with the UK Health Security Agency on the ongoing investigation and to ensure that all appropriate actions to identify close contacts and arrange testing are completed.

Sandwell’s director of public health, Lisa McNally said:

“We were able to identify this case of omicron infection a few days before it was confirmed, meaning that contacts could isolate and break the chain of infection.”

“However, it does seem clear that this new variant spreads very easily and we can expect many more cases in the days and weeks to come. 

“New research also suggests that having been infected with COVID previously doesn’t offer much protection against reinfection with omicron.  Therefore, vaccination is crucial if we are going to stay safe this winter.”

“The vaccine remains our best defence against Coronavirus. Whether it’s the first or second dose, or the booster if you are eligible, please take up the offer.”

“If you have any symptoms, no matter how mild, you should self-isolate get a PCR test.  This can save lives.”

Click here for the most recent self-isolation guidance.

For up to date information on the latest Covid 19 variants in the UK click here.

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