First U.S. case of Omicron variant is found in California

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The Omicron variant of COVID-19 was found in California, marking the first detection of the variant in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, a traveler who returned to California from South Africa on November 22 tested positive for the variant. The person was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms, the CDC said. They are self-quarantining and close contacts were contacted and have tested negative.

President Joe Biden said while the new variant that was first detected in South Africa is a cause for concern, it’s not a cause for panic.

“We have the best vaccines in the world, the best medicines, the best scientists,” Biden said. “We’re learning more every single day, and we’ll fight this variant with science and speed, not chaos and confusion. Let me repeat what the doctors and scientists have affirmed: The best protection against Omicron is getting a booster shot.”

The U.S. detection of the variant was made by the California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health.

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