First Omicron COVID variant in the U.S. detected in San Francisco

3 mins read

The White House on Wednesday confirmed the first omicron variant case in the U.S., which involved a COVID-vaccinated individual in California.

In a talk to reporters, Dr. Anthony Fauci said that the first person to contract the new variant in the U.S. was a traveller, KRON4 reported.

On Nov. 22, the individual returned from South Africa and his positive test result was released on Nov. 29.

The COVID-vaccinated person has not yet been inoculated with a booster shot, Fauci said, adding that the person manifests “mild symptoms.”

“We are still learning about the Omicron variant, but we are not back to square one with this disease. From what we know now, San Francisco is relatively well positioned to handle COVID-19 and its variants because of our high vaccination rates, our high booster uptake, and other local health measures such as masking and testing,” Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax, said. “We will stay alert and vigilant and do what we need to do to protect ourselves. This means getting vaccinated, getting your booster, wearing a mask indoors, and taking the other steps we know help slow the spread.” 

Travel restrictions from Southern Africa were announced by the Biden administration last month. The new variant was first found in the said country as case clustering was also reported in over 20 countries.

“We knew that it was just a matter of time before the first case of omicron would be detected in the United States,” Fauci said.

All of the individuals classified as close contacts of the individual has been reached out to and they were not infected by the disease.

The University of California has done the genomic sequencing, which was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“San Francisco has one of the highest vaccination rates and lowest death rates in the country because of the actions our residents have taken from the beginning of this pandemic to keep each other safe. We knew that it was only a matter of time until the Omicron variant was detected in our city, and the work that we have done to this point has prepared us to handle this variant. We continue to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, get boosted, and take steps to keep each other safe,” Mayor London Breed said.