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ND Health Department Town Hall addresses Omicron surge starting in the state

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The North Dakota Department of Health held a Town Hall to share the latest information about how the Omicron variant of COVID-19 is impacting the state.

NDSU Center for Immunization Research & Education Director Dr. Paul Carson presented data showing Omicron is about three times more transmissible than the Delta variant, and currently makes up the majority of active cases in the state.

However, early indicators show it’s less severe, which could be because more people are more immune due to prior infection and vaccination and because the variant itself is less severe.

Experts continue to stress that being fully vaccinated and boosted is the best protection against severe illness, hospitalization and death from the virus, especially with how contagious Omicron is.

“The attack rate typically amongst the population is somewhere around 5 to 25 percent of the population will be exposed and come down with the flu or flu-like illness. We expect the attack rate for Omicron to be just about everybody. I think this is going to be 80, 90, 95 percent exposure and attack rate. So it’s just much, much higher volume of cases,” Dr. Carson said.

The health department also unveiled its new COVID breakthrough dashboard to provide data on those who have been vaccinated but still got COVID-19.

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