First East Coast Omicron Case Identified, Possibly Tied To Recent Anime Convention In New York

Federal officials announced today that a man from Hennepin County, Minnesota — which includes Minneapolis — is the second confirmed case of the Omicron variant in the U.S.

The infected man “reported traveling to New York City and attending the Anime New York City 2021 at the Javits Center from the 19th through the 21st [of November],” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced this morning. He “developed mild symptoms on November 22 and sought COVID-19 testing on November 24,” according to the CDC. His symptoms have since resolved, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

There was no mention of any recent travel to Africa in this case. The man, who is an adult, is vaccinated.

The anime event was expected to attract over 50,000 fans, who were required to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask.

“We should assume there is community spread of the variant in our city,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to The New York Daily News.

NY Governor Kathy Hochul said officials believe the man caught Omicron in her state. She also said that there are no confirmed cases in New York as of yet.

The first U.S. case of the highly-mutated variant was announced yesterday. It was identified in San Francisco. The infected person, said to be between 18 and 45 years old, had recently arrived via airplane from South Africa, where the variant was first discovered.

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