Late Monday, Harris County Public Health reported that a man said to be between 50-50 years old has died of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 — the first such case in the county.
The man who was unvaccinated and who previously had been infected with COVID had underlying health conditions, authorities said.
In a released statement, Barbie Robinson, HCPH Executive Director, said:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the patient’s family, and we extend our deepest sympathies. This is a reminder of the severity of COVID-19 and its variants. We urge all residents who qualify to get vaccinated and get their booster shot if they have not already.”
The news comes at the same time as the cast and crew of The Little Mermaid was hit with COVID despite all sorts of precautions and testing. One Monday night Theatre Under the Stars concluded it had no choice but to close down the show early.
Also on Monday, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo moved the county's threat level from yellow to orange or up to the second highest level, citing the Omicron variant's high transmissibility. At the orange level, residents are urged to minimize their contact with other people. The news comes, of course, as many families are gathering to celebrate the holidays.
Health experts say that despite people being fully vaccinated including a booster shot, they can still be susceptible to the latest variant which is spreading rapidly through this country and the world. The advantage of COVID vaccinations is that they appear to protect most people from more severe outcomes and usually result in milder symptoms.