First Georgia case of omicron variant identified, quarantined in New Jersey

A Georgia resident who is currently in New Jersey has tested positive for the omicron variant of COVID-19, the Georgia Department of Public Health announced late Friday.

The GDPH said the person recently traveled from South Africa and was in Georgia for two days before traveling on to New Jersey where they took a test. The individual is fully vaccinated and is in isolation.

Health officials are using contact tracing to try to track the person’s movements and test those who may have had contact.

"Vaccination and boosters are key to preventing further transmission of COVID-19 and help prevent new variants like Omicron from emerging," said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. "Only 51% of Georgians are fully vaccinated and of those individuals, less than 20% have received booster doses."

Toomey said the best way to fight this ongoing pandemic is to get vaccinated. Early data from South Africa suggest increased transmissibility of the Omicron variant and experts are re-evaluating the vaccines’ effectiveness against the new strain.

The GDPH recommends the following for vaccinations:

"All Georgians over the age of 5 are now eligible for COVID vaccination. Booster doses of vaccine are recommended for adults 18 and older who completed their first series of vaccines at least six months ago. The CDC also recommends general prevention measures such as wearing a mask in public settings, staying 6 feet from others, avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, and frequently washing your hands to protect against COVID-19."

Health officials also encourage frequent testing. For more information visit