OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Oklahoma Department of Health announced December 21 the omicron COVID-19 variant has been detected in the state.

Interim Commissioner of Health Keith Reed released a statement regarding the discovery of the variant in Oklahoma.

We have known for some time that COVID is not going anywhere. The good news is, as new variants come on the scene, our resources in the state are plentiful. Early research is indicating that the mitigation methods we’ve been using to combat COVID-19 are still the best way to detect and prevent severe illness from the Omicron variant, Getting your COVID-19 shot is the best way to protect yourself and others, even from new variants like this one. Wearing a mask, especially in crowded indoor places, can also help protect you from infection. And if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, tests can tell you if you are currently infected and are available at pharmacies across the state. Tests can also provide the reassurance that your holiday gatherings are safe.

Interim Commissioner of Health Keith Reed

According to the department, COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone five and older at a variety of providers across the state.

Oklahomans can find vaccine appointments in their area by visiting a local pharmacy or personal provider, visiting the state’s Vaccine Scheduler Portal, Vaccines.gov, or by call 211.

Residents can find a COVID-19 testing site near them using the state’s testing portal or by visiting a pharmacy or personal provider.