New Jersey confirms first Omicron case in woman who traveled to South Africa

New Jersey officials announced the state’s first confirmed case of the COVID-19 variant Omicron on Friday in a woman who had recently traveled to South Africa.

The patient, a fully-vaccinated Georgia resident, tested positive on Nov. 28 and has remained in isolation since, according to the New Jersey Department of Health.

She experienced “moderate symptoms” and is recovering after receiving treatment at a North Jersey emergency facility, officials said.

“The Omicron variant is among us and we need to take steps to stop its spread,” Gov. Phil Murphy said in a statement. “It is vital that residents remain as vigilant as possible as we await more information about the variant.

“Vaccinations and mask wearing have proven to be an effective tool to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and I urge everyone ages 18 and over to receive a booster,” he said.

A person takes a COVID-19 test in Times Square
The positive case in New Jersey comes amid multiple positive cases of the Omicron variant in New York.
AP / Yuki Iwamura

At least five cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in New York City, Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday. One case was confirmed in Brooklyn, two in Queens and one in Long Island’s Suffolk County. A fifth was pegged to “New York City” by the officials but without a more precise location.