Even though there have been virtually no cases of clinical infection, sewage samples show that the new omicron variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Florida County which is home to the world’s largest parks. ‘attractions in the country, officials said this week.
The omicron variant quickly overtook the delta variant in collections collected at Orange County wastewater sampling sites, officials said.
Sampling this week showed that omicron made up nearly 100% of the strains in samples from wastewater treatment facilities, Orange County Utilities spokeswoman Sarah Lux said in an email.
It’s a different story when it comes to people seeking treatment for COVID-19, officials said.
“Those who are hospitalized are primarily infected with the delta variant,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Wednesday at a press conference at the Orlando International Airport.
Although the number of tourists has fallen since the start of the pandemic, tens of millions of people still travel to Orlando each year to visit the region’s famous theme parks, including Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando.
Scientists have said that the omicron is more contagious than the delta, but it is it is not known whether the rapid spread of omicron will overwhelm hospitals. They said it was too early to draw any conclusions because the variant is fairly new and hospitalizations can take weeks after infections.