The first case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 was reported in Denton County on Dec. 13, said Dr. Matt Richardson, the county’s public health director.

Richardson noted the case is the first reported and it is travel related, he said during a Dec. 14 commissioner court meeting. The person who contracted the virus is at home and his household contacts have tested negative.

“This is a concern,” he said. "It shows that there are likely other cases of the variant undetected in the county."

Not all COVID-19-positive people will be tested for the omicron variant, Richardson said. This person was tested because it was travel related.

The delta variant is the most prominent variant in the county, though the omicron variant is competitive, he said.

Prevention is key with omicron, Richardson said. Early studies have shown that three doses of current COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the variant.

Anyone 5 years old or older is eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine while those 16 years old and older are now eligible for the booster vaccine, he said.

“It’s hard to overstate the priority at this point,” he said.

In the county, 208,466 people have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the public health department. About 199,554 people have received second doses and 27,701 people have received booster doses.

Vaccination information and sites can be found at the Denton County Public Health Department’s website.