SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4)- The first case of the Omicron variant was identified in the United States on December 1st. In Utah, the first case was identified on December 3rd.

But now, Omicron is the dominant strain in the state, accounting for about 60% of new covid cases. That number is in line with the national trend.

In the United States, about 58% of new Coronavirus cases are the Omicron variant. According to the CDC, the increase in infections are most likely due to a combination of higher transmissibility and the ability of the variant to evade immunity created by past infection or vaccination.

“We’re seeing it spread across the world, across the country really rapidly, and even in Utah we’ve gone from very few cases to many many cases in just a few weeks, so obviously this strain of the virus is very easy to spread,” says Dr. Leisha Nolen, the state Epidemiologist.

Because of how contagious the variant is, Dr. Nolen is recommending swapping fabric masks for surgical masks, or even N95 or KN95 masks.