One Of America’s First Omicron Cases Attended Anime Convention

Cosplaying attendees at Anime NYC 2021

Cosplaying attendees at Anime NYC 2021
Photo: KENA BETANCUR (Getty Images)

As governments and health authorities around the world battle to contain the spread of the new Omicron strain of Covid-19, it has been reported that one of the first cases detected in the United States, a man who had travelled to New York from Minnesota, was in the city to attend an anime convention.

The man, from Hennepin County, was vaccinated according to Minnesota’s Department of Health, and after developing mild symptoms on November 22—which have already “resolved”—he was tested on November 24 before isolating.

Between November 19-21, however, he had been in New York City attending Anime NYC 2021 at the Javits Center, an event that attracted over 53,000 fans. New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is now urging every single attendee of and worker at the convention to go and get tested immediately.

“We do anticipate there’ll be more cases,” said Ms. Hochul, per the New York Times. “This is not cause for alarm; it was foreseen ever since it was first reported out of South Africa, that we knew it would come to New York State at some point.”

Meanwhile New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says that despite there still being no confirmed Omicron cases in New York, “we should assume there is community spread of the variant in our city”, after contract tracers have been working overtime to identify and get in touch with everyone who had been in the Javits Center over that time period.

While authorities have been quick to alert attendees, at time of posting neither the Anime NYC website or Twitter account have posted any mention of the health alerts.

Minnesota’s Department Of Health notice says:

The person with the Omicron variant is an adult male, is a resident of Hennepin County, and had been vaccinated. The person developed mild symptoms on Nov. 22 and sought COVID-19 testing on Nov. 24. The person’s symptoms have resolved. The person spoke with MDH case investigators and reported traveling to New York City and attended the Anime NYC 2021 convention at the Javits Center from Nov. 19-21. The person was advised to isolate from others. Minnesota epidemiologists will continue to investigate in collaboration with New York City and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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