First Positive Case of COVID-19 Variant BA.2.86 Identified in Delaware

by Pat Haley

The Delaware Public Health Laboratory(DPHL)has identified a case of SARS-CoV-2 lineage BA.2.86 from a specimen provided to the laboratory for testing.

This is the first case of BA.2.86 detected in Delaware, currently classified as a Variant Being Monitored (VBM) by the SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG). The case was detected in a Pennsylvania resident seen at a Delaware Hospital. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is publishing weekly updates on this new variant including current risk assessment and scientific analysis on its website: 

These latest developments are a reminder that while the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19 has ended, COVID-19 is not over. An updated COVID-19 vaccine, designed to protect against the newly circulating variants, will be available later this month pending final approvals, and more details will be forthcoming. The Division of Public Healthreminds everyone to follow the appropriate strategies to keep COVID-19 in check:

  1. Get vaccinated or boosted when eligible (Talk to your health care provider or visit a public health clinic to discuss what is best for your individual situation).
  2. Stay home if sick and get tested if you have symptoms or were exposed to someone with COVID-19.
  3. If you test positive, inquire about treatment.
  4. Wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces, as cases rise, or if you or someone you know is at higher risk for illness.

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To learn about vaccine and test availability, isolation guidelines, and more, please visit

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