The Omicron variant detected in the U.S.

NOW: The Omicron variant detected in the U.S.

ELKHART, Ind -- The new Omicron varian now confirmed in the U.S. for the first time after a patient returned from a trip from South Africa.

Health experts say the Omicron variant making its arrival was bound to happen at some point.

"We fully expect the virus to mutate you know it’s looking for a vulnerable host. It’s looking for ways to sustain itself, right?" said St. Joseph County Department of Health Deputy Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox.

Although the variant hasn’t made its way to Michiana yet, vaccination rates across our area are concerning for some health officials.

For example. just over 56% of people in saint joseph county are vaccinated.

Just to the east, it’s a different story.

Elkhart county sitting with a vaccination rate of just over 43%, and LaGrange County, even worse at 23%

"The virus doesn’t respect the county boundaries so we have to be attentive to what’s going on regardless of the County," said Dr. Fox.

Dr. Mark fox at the St. Joseph County health department says that the region itself is something to keep an eye on now that hospital numbers are increasing in both saint joe and Elkhart County.

"No information that it’s in our area at this point. It will be certainly at some point almost assuredly and it’s concerning the case rates in our region, both St. Joseph County and Elkhart County. There’s significant transmission across the community of COVID.

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