Will omicron trigger new virus curbs in California

3 mins read

The first omicron COVID-19 variant case in the U.S. was found in San Francisco on Wednesday but California Gov. Gavin Newsom said that it will not cause changes to the present restrictions and will not introduce a lockdown, SFGATE reported.

“There’s more panic than information around this variant,” Newsom told a press conference on Wednesday. “Doubling down on what we’re doing is the most important message. We can avoid shutting down our schools or businesses. None of us want to see that happen. I don’t want to see that happen. And I see no indication at this moment whatsoever that that’s in our immediate future.” 

The governor urged the people to get vaccinated and to also have their booster shots to prevent another restriction.

San Francisco city officials are also in the same page as the governor.

In a press conference Wednesday, San Francisco director of health Dr. Grant Colfax said: “At this time we do not anticipate changing any of our health orders or changing any current restrictions or imposing new restrictions on activities in San Francisco. We’re obviously following these developments very closely. We’ll share additional information as we have it.” 

In August, an indoor mask mandate was announced in eight of the Bay Area counties which experienced a spike in Delta variant-case spike. Since the mandate was introduced, Marin county became the one and only Bay Area county to satisfy the criteria of the region to relax mask requirement, which it lifted on Nov. 1.

But will Marin bring back its mask mandate not with the omicron variant?

Marin health director Dr. Matt Willis said they will not, noting that the cases in the country remain low.

“We’re confident in our monitoring systems and we’re watching closely,” Willis said on Wednesday. “We have several policy levers still available to us if needed, including a mask mandate and proof of vaccination to enter restaurants and bars. The most important trigger for any more restrictive policies will be increases in serious illness and hospitalizations. Our case rates and hospitalization rates have been stable through November.”