COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – The third known case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Ohio was discovered by the Cleveland Clinic Monday.
This comes after the first two known cases were confirmed in central Ohio over the weekend.
Doctors said the important word there is “known” because it’s likely omicron has been here for some time and is actively spreading.
What isn’t known, however, is what that means for the pandemic, or even how widespread the variant could be.
Researchers said there is no way of truly knowing as testing levels have dropped in recent months.
With cases and hospitalizations at some of the highest levels in the pandemic, doctors said now is not the time to get too comfortable.
“People are letting their guard down,” said Mt. Carmel’s Dr. Mark Herbert. “There is apathy. People think we have won the battle. People are optimistic about the sunshine and the holidays and the year to come, but we really are not there. The pandemic is still here and it’s getting worse.”
Doctors said they’ve seen a small but noticeable increase in breakthrough COVID-19 cases, which is why the recommend people get a booster shot, especially before holiday gatherings.