LAWRENCE, Kan. — The public health department in Lawrence and Douglas County announced Friday it was notified of the first confirmed case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 in Douglas County by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

This is the second confirmed case in Kansas, with the first case being reported in Franklin County.

Dr. Jennifer Schrimsher, deputy county health officer and infectious disease physician at LMH Health, said detecting the variant in the county does not come as a surprise. It has rapidly spread across the country since the first confirmed U.S. case omicron was identified on Dec. 1.

According to health officials, the person with the omicron variant in Douglas County is a vaccinated adult who has received a booster dose.

Health officials continue to urge people to use the following tools to protect against COVID-19. The omicron variant includes getting vaccinated and boosted, wearing a mask, getting tested, and social distance.

“Masks work, and vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious disease and death,” Schrimsher said. “These are two keystones of keeping our loved ones and the community at large safer.”