Omicron outbreak confirmed in Alameda County

ALAMEDA COUNTY – Five “mildly symptomatic” COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant have been identified in Alameda County, public health officials said Friday.

Locally, at least a dozen COVID-19 cases have been linked to a Nov. 27 wedding in Wisconsin, the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency said in a news release. One of the individuals attended the wedding upon returning from international travel.

The individuals are between 18 and 49 years old. Eleven are residents of Alameda County and one is a resident of Berkeley, which has its own health jurisdiction. All 12 were vaccinated and most had received boosters.

“They are mildly symptomatic,” the agency said. “No one has been hospitalized.”

A state lab used genomic sequencing to identify the five individuals infected with the variant, which is now being detected around the country and world, the agency said.

The Alameda County and Berkeley public health departments are investigating the cases with the support of the California Department of Public Health. In addition, close contacts are being notified and provided with isolation and quarantine guidance.

The agency said it doesn’t know yet how Omicron will impact a highly vaccinated region like the Bay Area. Relatively little is known about the variant, which is thought to have emerged sometime in mid-October.

“We remind residents that vaccination continues to provide the best protection against severe illness from COVID-19 that could result in hospitalization and death,” the agency said.

Check back for updates.

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Author: Jason Green