1st U.S. case of Omicron variant reported in California

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LOS ANGELES, — The United States has identified the country’s first confirmed case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant in the state of California, health authorities said Wednesday.

The California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health have confirmed that a recent case of COVID-19 among an individual in California was caused by the Omicron variant.

The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a news release.

Officials said that genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco and the sequence was confirmed at CDC as being consistent with the Omicron variant, which was first detected in southern Africa last month.


The individual, who was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has since tested positive. All close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative, according to the CDC.