The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Omicron variant confirmed in Brazos Valley

COVID+Kiosk+Testing
Photo by Photo by Kaylee Cogbill
COVID Kiosk Testing

A new COVID-19 variant has made its way into the Brazos Valley. 
On Dec. 20, the Brazos County Health District, or BCHD, announced in an email to local media outlets that one case of the omicron SAR-CoV-2 variant has been confirmed in the area. 
First detected in Botswana and South Africa, the omicron variant was reported on Nov. 24 and has since spread across the U.S. and into Brazos Valley. With the rapid spread across the world, the World Health Organization is calling omicron “a variant of concern,” citing that this may lead to reinfection of individuals who have already had COVID-19. 
“Certain mutations could also make omicron more contagious, while others haven’t been reported until now, preventing researchers from understanding how they could impact the strain’s behavior,” a CNBC article reads. 
Workforce Development Coordinator and Public Information Officer Mary Parrish said in an email to The Battalion that BCHD highly recommends individuals be vaccinated against COVID-19 if they have not already and to continue to listen to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding booster shots. 
“Current vaccines are expected to protect against severe illness, hospitalizations and deaths due to infection with the omicron variant,” Parrish said. “The recent emergence of omicron further emphasizes the importance of vaccination and boosters. Scientists are working to determine how well existing treatments for COVID-19 work. Based on the changed genetic make-up of omicron, some treatments are likely to remain effective while others may be less effective.”
Texas A&M’s A.P. Beutel Health Center continues to offer both testing and vaccination on campus for free against COVID-19. Students and staff can make an appointment on the Student Health Services’, or SHS, website
Due to the holidays, the testing sites will be closed at the Texas A&M Health Maroon Line from Dec. 22 through Jan. 17, but will remain open at the Curative kiosks, except on Dec. 24 and 31, and at SHS on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. following a brief break from Dec. 22 through Jan. 1.

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