Though no omicron variant COVID-19 cases have been reported in Lake County or Illinois yet, health care professionals are recommending people continue to follow the same practices suggested since the first vaccinations were administered nearly a year ago.

Emily Young, the marketing and communications manager for the Lake County health department, said in an email the omicron variant remains a study in process, and all eligible unvaccinated people should get inoculated.

Young said everyone should continue to wear masks at all appropriate times, maintain social distance from others and frequently wash their hands to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic as health care officials continue to learn more about the latest variant of the disease.

“We are still learning more about the omicron variant, and will keep residents informed as the situation evolves,” she said in the email. “What we do know is that mitigation measures and getting vaccinated are our best tools to combat COVID-19 and its variants.”

“When it comes to the omicron variant, it’s important to continue using the same precautions we have been using all along — hand hygiene, masks, social distancing and vaccinations,” added Karen Obenauf, the director of infection control for Vista Medical Center East in Waukegan.