**Related video above: ODH reports omicron detected in Ohio over the weekend**
CLEVELAND (WJW) — The COVID-19 omicron variant is being reported in Northeast Ohio for the first time, the Cleveland Clinic confirmed Monday afternoon.
“Cleveland Clinic has detected the Omicron variant in our laboratory,” the hospital said in a statement to FOX 8. “We routinely sequence positive specimens each week and share that information with the Ohio Department of Health. This sampling of positive specimens enables us to identify and track SARS-CoV-2 variants that are circulating in the community.”
The first cases of the relatively new variant were reported in Ohio Saturday, but in the central part of the state. Since being detected in South Africa last month, the variant has quickly spread around the globe, but had not yet been reported in Northeast Ohio.
The Cleveland Clinic continues to urge all community members to get vaccinated against coronavirus, including getting the booster shot.
“[The vaccine] continues to be the best protection against severe illness and death from COVID-19,” the clinic said in a statement.