Just days ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a new variant of the coronavirus, called the omicron variant.

Although information on the new variant in North Dakota is not yet available, we contacted the Upper Missouri Health District Health Unit to get an update on the current state of COVID-19 infections.

Health officials say there are concerned that there will be more cases as a result of Thanksgiving family gatherings.

The health district is still urging people who have COVID-19 symptoms to get tested. About 30 to 50 tests are being completed weekly at the Williston State College site.

Vaccinations are still being administered and are considered the best defense against the virus.

“We are working on vaccinations in our four counties. We range anywhere from 38.5% up to 59.4% through our four counties with people vaccinated with our first dose,” Public Information Officer for UMHD, Daphne Clark said.

Around 120 vaccinations are being administered each week, and that number includes all types, ranging from a person’s first dose to their second to boosters.

Williams County has 122 cases and as a comparison, Burleigh County has 351 active cases.