Fast-spreading omicron found in Snohomish County

The county’s top health official said omicron would likely overtake the delta variant in the next month or two.

The coronavirus omicron variant has been detected in Snohomish County, prompting health officials to remind people to get vaccinated and mask up. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)

The coronavirus omicron variant has been detected in Snohomish County, prompting health officials to remind people to get vaccinated and mask up. (Chuck Taylor / Herald file)

EVERETT — Omicron, the coronavirus variant on track to become the dominant strain, has been detected in Snohomish County, health officials announced Friday.

The state Department of Health reported at least one omicron case in the county, according to the Snohomish Health District. More details about the case were not available.

“This shouldn’t come as a surprise given recent detection throughout the Puget Sound region,” Health Officer Dr. Chris Spitters said in a news release. “It serves as a reminder to complete vaccination, get a booster as soon as possible once eligible, continue masking in public, maximize ventilation of indoor spaces, and keep up with all other public health measures.”

Spitters projected it would overtake the delta variant in the next month or two.

The rise of fast-moving omicron has alarm bells ringing around the world as officials warn of another winter of increased spread. In Snohomish County, case counts reached 463 per 100,000 residents in the final months of 2020. That number wasn’t surpassed until this summer, with the rise of delta, when there were nearly 500 cases per 100,000 people.

The number currently sits around 300.

Meanwhile, King County health officials predicted that by next week the case count there could be three times as great as the previous peak of the pandemic.

High school wrestling tournaments earlier this month resulted in multiple COVID-19 outbreaks, with several cases confirmed as the omicron variant.

Little is known about omicron’s threat. Early evidence suggests it could lead to illness less severe than that of other strains. A study in South Africa, where the variant was first detected, indicated hospital admissions were lower during the first omicron wave than in previous surges. That could stem from vaccination and past infections, South African officials have said. But the country has seen its fastest increase in cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

Vaccination appointments are available for those 12 and older at the Ash Way Park & Ride on I-5 near Lynnwood. It’s usually open Wednesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will be closed Dec. 23-26.

And you can get tested for COVID-19 at 3715 Oakes Ave. in Everett Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or at the Ash Way site on Saturdays and Sundays.

If you lack internet access or need language assistance, you can also call the Health District at 425-339-5278 to set up vaccination or testing.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Lynnwood
Lynnwood’s car tab fee and utility tax on chopping block again

City Council members will talk about repealing them. If they do, the mayor is prepared to veto their actions.

Most of Compass Health’s clinical employees at the Marysville, Monroe and Snohomish sites will transfer to its Everett locations. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Lawsuit blames counselor’s ‘unethical’ relationship for Marysville man’s death

Joshua Klick was referred to a counselor at Compass Health. Two years later he was shot and killed.

Marysville
Smokey Point Boulevard stretch closed for crash investigation

The road was closed between 136th Street NE and 152nd Street NE after a possibly fatal collision.

Doug Ewing looks out over a small section of the Snohomish River that he has been keeping clean for the last ten years on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the Oscar Hoover Water Access Site in Snohomish, Washington. Ewing scours the shorelines and dives into the depths of the river in search of trash left by visitors, and has removed 59 truckloads of litter from the quarter-mile stretch over the past decade. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Diving for trash in Snohomish River, biologist fills 59 pickup beds

At Thomas’ Eddy, Doug Ewing estimates he has collected 3,000 pounds of lead fishing weights. And that’s just one spot.

Wade Brickman works through a call with trainer Lars Coleman Friday afternoon at SNO911 in Everett, Washington on May 20, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Difference between life and death’: New 911 tech saves vital seconds

Snohomish County is the first in the nation to get the new technology, which reduces delays on emergency calls.

Nuno Taborda
Former Rolls Royce executive to lead Everett aerospace firm

magniX, which builds electric aircraft motors, has hired Nuno Taborda as its next CEO.

Top row (L-R): Rep. Suzan Del Bene, Sen. Keith Wagoner, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Rep. Rick Larsen. Center (L-R): Tamborine Borrelli, Bob Hagglund. Bottom (L-R): Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, Rep. Kim Schrier, Mark Miloscia, Sen. Patty Murray.
As filing ends, campaigning shifts into a higher gear

The ballot will feature intraparty battles, election deniers and 16 challengers to a longtime U.S. senator.

In this April 10 photo, drivers head northbound on Highway 99, near the intersection of Evergreen Way and 112th Street where a motorcyclist was fatally struck by a motorist Friday. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Mountlake Terrace woman arrested in fatal Everett motorcycle crash

Desiree Morin is accused of hitting and killing a motorcyclist while high on methamphetamine. Bail was set at $50,000.

Marysville to pay $3.5M to former students for alleged sex abuse

The district settled the lawsuit over incidents from the 1980s. Kurt Hollstein remained employed until June 2021.

Most Read