As of Friday, Dec. 17, the first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was confirmed at Michigan State University, university spokesperson Dan Olsen said.
The case follows the announcement that President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. is requiring all students to receive the COVID-19 booster next semester.
Olsen said this confirmed case highlights how important it is that students and the community continue following COVID safety protocols, including masking and receiving the booster shot.
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail also emphasized the importance of getting the booster shot.
Vail said it's important to be fully vaccinated, which many health organizations are defining as having the two original vaccines plus the booster shot. Vail also said that masks and social distancing continue to be an important part of slowing the spread of the variant.
With many students traveling home for the holidays this week, both Olsen and Vail stressed the importance of continuing to follow coronavirus safety guidelines.
Though Omicron seems to be milder than other variants, if it becomes widespread, it has the potential to put more people into hospitals that are already stretched thin.
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