THE NUMBER of people in Worcestershire with the Omicron variant of covid-19 has increased.

There are now nine confirmed positive cases for the Omicron variant in the county.

Dr Kathryn Cobain, director of Public Health for Worcestershire, said all the cases and their contacts are following public health guidance.

On Monday, the first case of the variant was discovered in the county.

Dr Corbain said: “Delta remains the most common variant in Worcestershire.

"There have been nine confirmed positive cases of the omicron variant in Worcestershire.

"The cases and their contacts have followed public health guidance.

"We continue to advise any residents with any COVID-19 symptoms to take a PCR test as soon as possible.”

That news followed a pre recorded statement from the Prime Minister Boris Johnson to the nation urging people to get boosted on Sunday evening.

People in the city responded by turning out in their thousands for jabs this week with recordbreaking numbers getting vaccinated.

And Health Secretary Sajid Javid has warned the variant is spreading at a rate "that we've never seen before".

The government announced the implementation of Plan B in response to the variant last week, with people told to work from home from Monday.

THE new Covid variant, Omicron, is spreading rapidly across the UK with the Worcestershire's first case now confirmed by Public Health England (PHE).

But what are the signs and symptoms of Omicron to look out for?

Omicron is understood to differ from other Covid variants as it is more transmissible and vaccine effectiveness is 'significantly lower'.

Read more: Worcester Racecourse covid walk-in clinic hours extended in run up to Christmas

There are some distinct symptoms people have experienced too.

In a report published by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on December 10, they said a booster vaccine dose prevents symptoms in 75 per cent of Omicron cases.

Being double vaccinated was also found to reduce the severity of symptoms.

Omicron was first spotted in Botswana, South Africa, and is currently infecting 200,000 people a day across the UK, according to modelling from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

The first death from the variant was announced on Monday and Sage scientists are warning that restrictions need to tighten or it could cause tens of thousands of Covid deaths in England in the next five months.