Omicron Variant Arrives In Kansas

Kansas has confirmed its first case of the omicron variant, raising fresh concerns as hospitals already were seeing a rise in COVID-19 patients.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said that the infected person is a vaccinated adult in Franklin County in the northeast part of the state.

The person had not received a booster.

The health department said no additional details would be released to protect the patient’s privacy.

The announcement comes as the state’s seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks by over 250, going from 1,340 to 1,594.

Deaths also rose over that same period to 18 per day from 5, the data showed.

Cindy Samuelson, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Hospital Association, said staffing issues are part of what it is making it hard to get patients transferred from small hospitals to larger ones that can offer more advanced care.