By Team

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Move over Delta, there’s a new dominant strain in town.

According to genomic surveillance data, the Omicron variant has overtaken the Delta variant as the dominant strain in Miami-Dade.

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Genetic sequencing of the virus showed Omicron grew from a tiny fraction of hundreds of samples taken the first week of December to nearly three of every four samples taken last week.

“It is absolutely astonishing how contagious this variant has proven to be,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

The mayor’s office provided the genomic surveillance data.

The county contracts with NOMI Health to conduct testing, vaccination, and sequencing. The company found that 76 percent of 504 COVID-19 samples taken December 14-15 were the Omicron variant. That compared to 64 percent of 378 samples collected December 10-13, and 1.3 percent of the 373 samples collected December 1-5, county records showed.

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The variant is also sweeping the nation, accounting for 73 percent of new infections last week, federal health officials said.

The county is also seeing a spike in positive COVID-19 cases, which stand at 10 percent after dropping to about 1 percent a month ago, according to data.

Last week, Levine Cava reinstated an emergency order requiring hospitals to provide daily bed inventories and COVID-19 patients counts.

“And it’s on us to protect ourselves and still the most important thing we can do is vaccinate,” she said.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.) Team