A man in Harris County is reportedly the first person to die from the omicron COVID-19 variant in the United States.
During a news conference on Monday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo reported the man was in his 50s, unvaccinated, and had underlying health conditions, according to a report from KPRC, KSAT’s sister station in Houston.
The man was receiving the antibody drug Regeneron as a treatment, KPRC reported.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to come back to where we are. My phone was ringing, I’m sure you guys noticed, and it was the public health director telling me we just had our first omicron-related death,” Hidalgo said. “I know, for folks in Harris County, this feels like whiplash. We saw a downward trend in hospitalizations and cases, only to see things trend back up again, and it is so frustrating. I feel it too.”
Harris County Judge Raises COVID-19 Threat Level to Level 2: Orange https://t.co/VrTOu7Izag— Office of Judge Lina Hidalgo (@HarrisCoJudge) December 20, 2021
Earlier Monday, the Harris County COVID-19 threat level moved from yellow to orange, which is “severe.”
In San Antonio, the risk level remains at “mild” and “steady.” The risk level went from “low“ to “mild” earlier this month due to the increase in cases, a city spokeswoman said.
The first two cases of the omicron variant in Bexar County were reported last week.
The first confirmed omicron variant case in the U.S. was identified on Dec. 1. The variant now accounts for 73% of new infections, according to federal health officials.