Just days after being discovered in South Africa, the first confirmed case of the Omicron variant was found in Minnesota from a man who had recently traveled domestically to New York City.
Peter McGinn, the Minnesotan who was confirmed to have been infected with the new strain of COVID-19, spoke with 1010WINS’ Brigitte Quinn about how he thinks he contracted the virus, what his symptoms were like, and how he is feeling now.
“Right now, I am feeling 100% I have fully recovered, and I feel great,” McGinn said.
While in New York City, McGinn went to the AnimeNYC convention at the Javits Center, and he said before he went, he felt perfectly fine.
McGinn shared that he was fully vaccinated before heading out to NYC, receiving the J&J version of the COVID-19 vaccine in April and then receiving the Moderna booster in early November.
While at the convention, McGinn said he was with a group of about 30 people, and after attending AnimeNYC, the group went out for dinner, drinks, and karaoke in the city.
“When we did the contact tracing, and just talking with the scientists at the Minnesota Department of Health, we concluded that it was more than likely a close contact [with a] party member I was with, [who] had covid prior to the convention but was asymptomatic,” McGinn said.
So while he shared that he is “more than likely not patient zero at all,” he is still the first confirmed case of the Omicron variant in Minnesota and New York City.
Of those in his group, 14 others tested positive for COVID-19, and only one was confirmed to be infected with Omicron.
“Because other people live in different states other than me until their states test their PCR samples, it can’t be confirmed, but it’s overwhelmingly likely that they also have the variant,” McGinn said.
Even while following CDC guidelines, getting vaccinated for COVID-19, getting a booster shot, McGinn knows this is unfortunate.
“I did feel safe. It’s just really unfortunate,” McGinn said. “I think that I was a breakthrough case, but I’m really happy with the fact that I’m healthy, the people I was with that tested positive are healthy, and I owe that to, I believe, the vaccines and the booster that I was able to have mild symptoms and recover so fast.”
When McGinn says he only had mild symptoms, he means it.
“My symptoms lasted 24 hours, and it was a light fatigue, a light cough, and a runny nose,” McGinn said. “I honestly thought it was just a cold when I had these symptoms.”
Contact tracing is still being done throughout New York City, and Minnesota as new cases of the Omicron variant continue to be found in the U.S.