Minnesota man with confirmed Omicron case has 15 friends test positive for COVID-19

Positive covid-19 test.
Positive covid-19 test. Photo credit GettyImages

More than 15 friends of the man identified as the first case of the Omicron variant in Minnesota have tested positive for the virus. However, it has not yet been confirmed if those who tested positive contracted the variant or not.

The person who first tested positive for the variant had recently traveled to New York City and visited a convention where it is assumed they contracted it.

The man was fully vaccinated and shared with New York health officials that of the 30 friends who went to the convention with him from Nov. 19 to Nov. 21, 15 of them tested positive for COVID-19, the New York Times reported Saturday.

At the moment, it is not known if those who tested positive contracted the Omicron variant, the Times reported.

The resident of Hennepin county has experienced mild COVID-19 symptoms and has since recovered from his infection. Weeks before he attended the convention at the Javits Center, he had received a booster dose of the vaccine.

The head of the coronavirus epidemiology team for the Minnesota Department of Public Health, Kathy Como-Sabetti, shared that she is "concerned" about the spread of the variant.

"Time will tell how large it becomes," Como-Sabetti said, the New York Post reported. "It's hard to say that it is a super spreader. Certainly, we're concerned about that."

Dr. Michael Osterholm gave his opinion on the virus last week, sharing that a lot is still unknown but will be known in the coming days.

"We know that, in fact, it is being transmitted readily at this point in parts of South Africa, which is the one place where it's been long enough so you might see sustained transmission," Osterholm said. "It appears to be transmitting much more widely than Delta, which had become kind of the king of the virus hill."

As of now, the event where the resident contracted the virus is not being considered a super spreader event, according to New York health officials.

However, Osterholm has warned that this is only the beginning, and we will continue to see the variant spread throughout the country in the coming days.