Gov. Jay Inslee reacts to omicron variant in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash.– Washington Governor Jay Inslee is encouraging people to do what they can to fight the spread of the omicron variant.

Inslee released a statement over the weekend when three cases of the variant were found in the state.

“We knew this day was inevitable, but the good news is we have more tools at our disposal to fight the virus than at any previous point in the pandemic, and we must continue to protect ourselves and our communities,” he said in the statement.

The Washington Department of Health confirmed the cases on Saturday. They were in King, Pierce and Thurston Counties.

State health leaders did not say how the people who tested positive with the variant are doing. They did say the ages of the people who tested for the variant ranged from 20 to 39.

“There is still much to learn about this variant as scientists around the world continue to study it. It remains as important as ever to get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask and be safe. We cannot yield an inch to this virus,” Inslee said.

The department of health says it doesn’t think the cases are related. However, the travel history of the people who tested positive is not known. They also do not the vaccination status of these three people.

Health experts say they were able to find the variant as quickly as they did because of PCR testing and genomic sequencing.

“Be vigilant for any symptoms – such as fever or fatigue – and mask up in public settings. We all have the power to keep our communities safe.”

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