Health officials have confirmed a third case of the Omicron variant in Georgia.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) on Thursday said an unvaccinated metro Atlanta resident with no recent international travel history has the variant. The individual has mild COVID-19 symptoms and is isolating at home. Contract tracing is underway, said DPH.

On Dec. 3, the first case of the Omicron variant was detected in a Georgia resident who is currently recovering in New Jersey. On Sunday, health officials identified a second individual located in Georgia.

Preliminary data shows that Omicron may cause less severe illness but may spread more easily than the Delta variant, says DPH. Scientists are still researching how well COVID vaccines and natural immunity hold up against Omicron, said the state health department.

“More than 1,000 new cases of COVID are reported daily in Georgia, 99% of which are Delta variant and predominantly in unvaccinated individuals,” said DPH in a press release. “Vaccination is crucial to stopping transmission of COVID and preventing the emergence of variants.”

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk was editor of Reporter Newspapers in 2021-22.