KANAWHA COUNTY, WV (WOWK)—The first case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been reported in Kanawha County, Kanawha-Charleston Health Department officials confirmed on Monday.

Dr. Sherri Young tells 13 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis that the Omicron case was reported in a young male, but the health department is not releasing his exact age.

“It is not surprising that an Omicron variant case has been detected in Kanawha County.  We know it is highly transmissible and it has been rapidly spreading throughout the United States.  Our State has been affected as well.  I continue to be concerned about the number of people who have not been vaccinated and who have not received their booster vaccines.  While there have been breakthrough cases with the Omicron variant, milder cases of the virus exist for those who have had the vaccine.  The vaccine provides a barrier of protection,” stated Dr. Sherri Young, Interim Chief Health Officer of the Kanawha-Charleston Health Department.

Per CDC guidelines, he will isolate for 14 days. Since the Omicron variant is highly transmissible, contact tracing, quarantining and testing protocols are stricter.

The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week for free testing, vaccines and boosters.

A special drive-through testing and vaccination clinic will take place on Wednesday at the Health Department from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.