The first known regional case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in West Sacramento, according to Yolo County officials.
The variant was found in a West Sacramento adult who had recently traveled within the U.S. and was vaccinated against COVID-19. The person, who was tested on Dec. 2, has been experiencing mild symptoms and is currently in isolation, said Yolo County spokesperson John Fout.
“There was contact tracing done immediately, but we have not had any other positive confirmations,” Fout said.
Yolo County health officials said that vaccinated people should get tested one to three days before traveling and three to five days after.
“The detection of the potentially highly transmissible Omicron variant is concerning, especially with more people traveling and visiting with friends and family for the holidays,” said Dr. Aimee Sisson, Yolo County Public Health Officer, in the press release.
Sacramento County announced on Dec. 3 that its public health lab has also started doing whole genome sequencing.
While there are currently no omicron cases in Sacramento County, wastewater surveillance detected the variant in samples collected during the last week of November.
“This is the first time that wastewater surveillance has alerted us to a new variant of concern circulating locally, before whole genome sequencing of clinical specimens has alerted us,” said Jamie White, the county’s epidemiology program manager. “Not all specimens are sequenced, so [clinical cases] probably exist, we just haven’t gotten one yet.”
As of Dec. 8, there have been 165,141 cases of COVID-19 reported, and about 200 cases and 3 deaths per day.
Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said during a Thursday press briefing that the county is seeing an uptick in numbers “due to people traveling or gathering during the Thanksgiving holidays.”
Neither Yolo nor Sacramento County public health officials anticipate changing current COVID-19 protocols, though both continue to monitor the omicron variant.
“There’s a lot we still have yet to learn about the omicron variant,” Kasirye said. “It’s important to note that the delta variant is still the predominant variant in Sacramento County. We know the vaccines that we have are very effective, so we are going to continue pushing for vaccination for our communities.”
Fout with Yolo County said it’s important for people to continue taking the precautions currently available to them: getting tested if symptomatic, meeting with other households or traveling, wearing well-fitting masks and getting vaccinated.
Yolo County has a vaccination clinic Dec. 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Yolo County Health and Human Services Bauer Building (37 N. Cottonwood St., Woodland, CA 95695), with all vaccine doses and types available. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins will still be taken.
The CDC began recommending booster shots for 16- and 17-year-olds Dec. 9.
You can search for a testing site in Sacramento County here and in Yolo County here.To make a vaccine appointment near you, go to myturn.ca.gov. More information about vaccines for kids 5-11 can be found here.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.