COVID cases are down in Colorado, but the new omicron variant could change that |

COVID cases are down in Colorado, but the new omicron variant could change that

No cases have been detected, but public health agencies are closely monitoring tests and surveilling sewage for signs of the more transmissible coronavirus variant

Olivia Prentzel
The Colorado Sun

While the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 has seen a slight decline, public health officials fear the new omicron variant could change that.

No confirmed cases of the potentially more transmissible variant have been detected in Colorado.

The omicron variant was first identified overseas last week and there’s still a lot experts don’t know about the new variant, including how easily it spreads between people or the severity of symptoms, Dr. Rachel Herlihy, the state’s epidemiologist, said during a news conference Tuesday.

“We really at this point have a lot to learn about the omicron variant, but due to some of the mutations that are present, specifically in the spike protein of the variant, it is possible to make some predictions on our understanding of similar mutations that have been observed in other variants about what might be possible when it comes to characteristics of this particular variant,” Herlihy said.

It’s possible, she said, that the variant could be more transmissible or may mutate in a way that makes it more adept at evading the body’s immune system, potentially causing reinfection. It may be several weeks before epidemiologists get a better understanding of the risks of the variant.

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