WISNER, Iowa (KCAU) — Health officials in northeastern Nebraska counties have reported the first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in their area.

According to a Monday release from the Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department (ELVPHD), they were notified of the first case. The ELVPHD covers Burt, Cuming, Madison, and Stanton counties. They added that other COVID19 specimens in the district are being tested to identify possible additional cases.

ELVPHD said they have seen an increase of COVID-19 cases since August in their district. With the new presence of the Omicron variant, they expect COVID-19 cases to increase and ask people to avoid large gatherings, particularly those in enclosed spaces, wear a mask, and continue their efforts to get vaccinated or receive their COVID vaccine booster.

ELVPHD Emergency Response Coordinator Melanie Thompson said they have been expecting the variant to show up.

“Though not 100% effective, the COVID-19 vaccines continue to be the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death. Our health department operates COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Tekamah, West Point and Norfolk three days a week for people to receive their vaccines,” Thompson said.

The Centers for Disease Control recently updated their quarantine and isolation guidance for those affected by COVID-19. They updated these guidelines to manage the spread of the virus while recognizing the need for people to maintain their daily lives. More information on quarantine and isolation can be found on the CDC’s website.

The health department said they and state health officials continue to study the variants and cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated individuals to understand the impact on individual health. For more information on where to get your vaccine, please visit the health department’s website.