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

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
1 dead, 1 in hospital after 3-vehicle crash on Highway 9

A concrete pumping truck and two sedans crashed Monday afternoon, closing the highway near Bickford Avenue.

Moses Malachi Brewer appears in court for sentencing Friday, March 24, 2023, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to 18 years for 2019 shooting in Everett

Moses Brewer, 23, shot four people in an Everett apartment, which left one victim paralyzed on his right side.

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Health care spending continues to outpace inflation, driven by prices

Can state efforts curb 6.7% growth per year in overall health care spending?

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
A buffet of budgets, a bunch of whales and a request for your miles

It’s Day 78. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

Richard Rotter listens to witness testimony in his trial at the Snohomish County Courthouse in Everett, Washington on Monday, March 20, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
As prosecution rests, jury hears jail call after Everett cop killing

“Try to put a wild cat inside a cage? … See what happens,” said Richard Rotter, accused of killing officer Dan Rocha.

James Lewis
The month in public health: COVID hospitalizations near pandemic low

Meanwhile, the bad news: Opioid overdoses continue to increase in Snohomish County.

The new Arlington Everett Clinic on Monday, March 27, 2023 in Arlington, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
New Everett Clinic branches opening in north Snohomish County

A new specialty and surgical clinic opened Monday in Arlington, with another clinic coming soon in Marysville.

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
WA Senate panel OKs assault weapon ban, a day after Nashville shooting

Democrats overrode Republican objections, pushing the prohibition on many semiautomatic weapons a step closer to becoming law.

A standard jet fuel, left, burns with extensive smoke output while a sustainable avation fuel, right, produces less smoke during a demonstration of the difference in fuel emissions on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Paine Field unveils plan for new, more eco-friendly jet fuel center

The research and development center is a joint effort by Snohomish County and Washington State University.

Most Read