San Diego

2nd Omicron Case Was Contracted in San Diego County, Not Through Travel: Health Officials

Doctor with blood sample of Covid-19 Omicron B.1.1.529 Variant and general data of covid-19 Coronavirus Mutations.

A San Diegan, who is fully vaccinated and boosted, is believed to have contracted the omicron COVID-19 variant locally, the County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said Friday.

HHSA said the patient, a man in his 30s, tested positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 8 and the San Diego Epidemiology and Research for COVID Heath Alliance conducted a genome sequencing and determined it was the omicron variant on Thursday.

The San Diego resident is fully vaccinated and had received the booster shot more than two weeks earlier. He did not have a travel history and had mild symptoms. The man did not need to be hospitalized, and is currently in isolation at home, HHSA said.

“This case confirms our expectation that the omicron variant is now spreading in the community. While the Delta variant remains the main strain circulating in San Diego, we expect to see more omicron cases in the region,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, County public health officer. “San Diegans should continue taking the recommended precautions, especially getting all the recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses.”

Contract tracing is underway to identify people who may have come in close contact with the person.

Until now, there have been two omicron variant cases confirmed in the county.

The first case identified Thursday was detected among a San Diegan who was fully vaccinated and boosted against the disease.

The patient, who was not identified, had recently traveled abroad before testing positive for COVID-19 on Dec. 8, HHSA said.

For now, the county recommends the following steps to protect against all variants of COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated and get a booster, which is now open to everyone 18 and up.
  • Wear a mask in public indoor settings, whether you're vaccinated or not
  • Get tested if you show any COVID-19 symptoms, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Wash your hands and stay home if sick
  • Continue to practice social distancing

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the first handful of omicron cases in the United States have been mostly mild, with most patients reporting symptoms such as cough or a runny nose.

The findings, published Friday, offer an early glimpse into how people might fare against the heavily mutated COVID-19 variant, now in at least 22 states, though health experts stress it's still too early to draw any strong conclusions on how it will spread in the country.

As of now, the county has not changed any public health measures due to the new variant but HHSA said the county continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department to determine if changes should be made.

Future omicron cases will be tallied in the summary of variant cases published by the county every Wednesday.

A new variant, named B.1.1.529, was named a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization and given the name “omicron” from the letter in the Greek alphabet.
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