Two cases of Omicron Covid variant in Somerset after PARTY, say officials

Health leaders are urging people to follow Covid advice as cases rise above the regional average in

The Omicron variant has been detected in Somerset, say officials - Credit: Archant

Two cases of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 have been confirmed in Somerset - after a PARTY in the county.

The UK Health Security Agency has said it is investigating the cases, which have been linked to a 'private party', with more cases linked with the event also being probed.

The news came after scientist Tim Spector, a leader of the Zoe Covid Study project, tweeted how a contributor had detailed a number of cases linked to an event in Somerset.

"A Zoe contributor has told of a super-spreader event in Somerset at a 60th birthday where all guests were vaccinated and some with boosters and had a lateral flow test 24 hours beforehand that was negative," he wrote.

"(A total of) 14/18 developed PCR positive for omicron - but symptoms all mild, luckily."

The UK Health Security Agency did not confirm details of the party, but said two cases of Omicron had been confirmed. 

Deputy director of the agency in the South West, Dominic Mellon, said: “We can confirm that we are investigating two confirmed cases of Omicron variant linked to a private party held in Somerset with further suspected cases under investigation linked to the same event.

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“Wherever a case of the Omicron variant is identified or suspected in our region, we are following up with any contacts to emphasise the importance of self-isolation and testing.”

Anyone who tests positive for the Omicron variant, or is a contact of someone who is suspected to have contracted the variant, must self-isolate, regardless of their age or vaccination status.

They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

The news came as, as of Monday (December 6), there were currently 336 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK.

And today (December 7), the Prime Minister's official spokesperson said the early signs suggested the Omicron variant is more transmissible than the current Delta strain, but warned it was still too early to draw conclusions about the severity of the variant.

It will take several weeks before full details are known, according to experts.