The omicron variant has been identified in Broomfield through wastewater samples collected on Dec. 16.
The omicron variant has been identified in Broomfield through wastewater samples collected on Dec. 16. These samples were sequenced and analyzed, and were confirmed on Dec. 21 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The wastewater monitoring program has proven to be an effective early detection and surveillance tool, and the City and County of Broomfield is grateful for the partnerships that helped provide this data.
The omicron (B.1.1.529) variant was first detected in November in South Africa, and is now the dominant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the United States. There is still a lot to learn about the omicron variant, but data suggests the omicron variant is more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and may be able to evade natural immunity from past infection, and may contribute to breakthrough infection in vaccinated individuals. Learn more about the omicron variant.
To protect the community, the City and County of Broomfield is extending/amending two public health orders:
- Amended PHO 2021-04 to modify the definition of fully vaccinated to include booster doses for anyone 16+, and extend through January 31, 2022. Masks are required in City and County buildings; fully vaccinated individuals who have received a booster dose can opt out of the mask requirement.
- Amended PHO 2021-03 requiring masks for ages 2-11 and staff working in schools and child care through January 31, 2022.
Despite the potential for increased transmission with this latest variant, vaccines remain the best available public health measure to protect people from COVID-19, slow transmission, and reduce the likelihood of new variants emerging. Early studies indicate that booster doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccine provide significant protection against serious illness or death from the omicron variant.
Broomfielders are encouraged to get vaccinated, get a booster dose (if age 16+), wear a mask in indoor public spaces, limit large gatherings, stay home if sick, wash their hands frequently, and practice physical distancing. Anyone who has symptoms or who has been exposed to COVID-19 should get a PCR test as soon as possible. Find COVID-19 vaccines, testing sites, details on public health orders, and other resources at Broomfield.org/COVID.