The first case of the COVID-19 variant known as omicron was confirmed Wednesday in San Francisco, California. The variant was discovered thanks to the state’s genome sequencing program.
The patient was a fully vaccinated San Francisco resident who had recently traveled to South Africa where the omicron variant was first discovered. The patient had not received a booster because their second vaccine dose was less than six months ago. The patient is not hospitalized and is expected to recover.
While little is known about the variant, experts have expressed concerns about its large number of mutations, which may help it evade protection from prior infection or vaccines. It is also believed to be more contagious than the highly transmisable Delta variant.
No matter how destructive omicron turns out to be, the era of lockdowns appears to be over.
“We’re going to fight COVID this winter — not with shutdowns or lockdowns but with more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more,” President Biden said Monday.
Los Angeles Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer also confirmed the county has no plans for tough, new restrictions. The county is urging residents to mask up, test regularly, and get their vaccinations and/or booster shots.
Read more about the omicron variant here.