How to get tested for the omicron variant

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – As positive COVID-19 cases continue to rise in many Kansas City area communities, people may wonder if they take a COVID-19 test, will they be able to detect all versions virus, including the new variant of omicron.

While the test will give you a “yes” or “no” for COVID, a local health department said in order to uncover the specific variant, which will require further diving in a lab.

As health services see a dramatic increase in positive COVID cases, Erin Deroia said with all the family reunions going on, she wants to make sure her family is safe.

“We will make sure that if we went to events, to test,” she said.

Now the omicron variant is in the mix. Health officials say people want to know which version they have, if they are positive.

“I would definitely like to know which variant so that you get an idea of ​​the symptoms you might be facing,” Deroia said.

“We get calls all the time with someone saying, ‘I want my, I tested positive, I want this test for Omicron,'” said Chip Cohlmia of the Jackson County Department of Health.

Health officials have said that if you take a COVID test, it should be able to detect the Omicron variant. However, you will not get the specific variant listed in your results. These results can be found in a lab.

“There is the possibility of doing sequencing in certain centers. Of course, it’s happening across the country. I think they try to sequence around 80,000 positive tests each week, ”said Dr. Mark Steele, University of Health chief medical officer.

At the Jackson County Health Department, with so many new positive cases, officials said not all samples were sent for genotyping.

“For public health and what we send to our state lab, it’s all done on a case-by-case basis just because of all the samples that go in there,” Cohlmia said.

Health officials say the delta variant is still the predominant version of the current spread of COVID.

At this point, health officials say the evidence suggests symptoms of the omicron variant may be less severe. They said vaccines, boosters and mask maintenance can all help stop the spread of all versions of COVID.


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