HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Hawaii Department of Health is investigating three more COVID specimens they believe could be the omicron variant but nothing has been confirmed.
Officials are conducting genome sequencing on these three samples that have molecular clues that may indicate the new variant. This investigation comes after the first case of the omicron variant was identified in Hawaii.
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“We can’t yet say these specimens are omicron cases, but we believe omicron is already moving through the community. Our only confirmed omicron case involves an individual with no known travel history. That leads us to believe it is a case of community transmission,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.
On Thursday, Dec. 2, the DOH confirmed Hawaii’s first omicron variant case found on Oahu in an unvaccinated resident under the age of 65. According to officials, that person has experienced mild to moderate symptoms and is currently isolated at home.
DOH officials do not believe that these three new cases are related to the first case announced Thursday; however, it may be possible the variant has already spread throughout the community.
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More information will be released when the whole genome sequencing has been completed.