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WATCH: Colorado is monitoring for omicron variant

Published: Nov. 29, 2021 at 8:17 PM MST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:00 PM MST
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DENVER (KKTV) - Health officials in Colorado announced they are closely monitoring for the omicron variant.

The World Health Organization said it could still take some time to get a full picture of the threat posed by omicron, a new variant of the coronavirus, as scientists worldwide scramble to assess its multiple mutations. Click here for more on the variant. As of Monday night, the omicron variant has not been detected in Colorado.

According to the Colorado State Joint Information Center, the state lab, along with private and commercial labs, conducts genome sequencing on samplings of tests. Genome sequencing allows scientists to detect the variants. On top of that, the does wastewater monitoring to detect levels of COVID-19 virus particles found in wastewater. The state lab looks for genetic markers in wastewater and is able to identify markers consistent with the presence of COVID-19 variants, including omicron, through wastewater monitoring.

“Pandemics aren’t easy. The virus is tricky and trying to survive us at every turn, but we know what to do to help stop it,” said Dr. Eric France, chief medical officer, CDPHE. “We need everyone to do what they’ve done in the past and continue to take precautions. Protecting yourself against other variants, like the delta variant, as well as the flu, will help us be ready for if/when the omicron variant arrives here.”

A news conference held by Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment officials was held Tuesday afternoon. You can watch it at the top of this article.

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