The new, rapidly-contagious COVID-19 variant - omicron - has been detected in Larimer County.

As per a Wednesday, Dec. 22 press release via the Larimer County Department of Health and Environment (LCDHE), state and local health officials spoke out to inform the Larimer County community that the COVID-19 omicron variant was recently detected at multiple wastewater treatment facilities throughout the county.

How Exactly Was The New COVID Variant Detected?

Municipal sewer sheds throughout the county are monitored to detect whether the COVID-19 virus and its variants are present in the community, the press release says.

"Many people who have COVID-19 also shed the virus in their stool. This means that wastewater coming from businesses and places of residence can serve as an early warning signal that COVID-19 is present in a specific area." 

What To Know About The New COVID Variant, Omicron

The Larimer County Department of Health and Environment says that, although scientists are still learning about the omicron variant, it is blatant that this variant is transmitted and passed on much faster than other variants.

As such, LCDHE is consistently reminding residents that vaccination and booster doses against COVID-19 continue to be the best option for individuals, to protect the health of themselves and those in the community.

How To Protect Yourself Against COVID-19 + The New Variant

Aside from getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public, health officials recommend that if you or someone you know is showing symptoms of COVID-19, to get tested right away.

Should you test positive for COVID-19, you are to isolate yourself from other people; you can also contact your healthcare provider to learn about other COVID-19 treatment options.

In addition, there are drive-thru testing sites offering free COVID-19 tests in Larimer County, with results returned in 2-3 days; these locations include:

  • Foundations Church, 1380 N. Denver Ave, Loveland, open 8:00-6:00 M-F
  • Timberline Church, 2908 S Timberline Rd, Fort Collins, open 8:00-6:00 M-F (closed 12/24)
  • Estes Park Event Complex, 1125 Rooftop Way, Estes Park, open 8:00-5:00 M-F

For more information about COVID-19 in Larimer County, the omicron variant or how to protect yourself against the virus, visit larimer.org.

Here Are the 5 Safest Materials For Homemade Face Masks

UP NEXT: 5 Things That Are Getting Us Through This Pandemic