Update (1455ET): The White House has released a statement on the first case of the Omicron strain detected in the US, stating that Biden's medical team "continues to believe that existing vaccines will provide some level of protection against severe illness," from the variant - which we already know is a mild strain of the disease - and is urging "all adults to get their booster shots and get themselves and their kids vaccinated" if they haven't done so already.
NEW: White House COVID-19 Response Coordinator Jeff Zients: "It was only a matter of time before the first case of Omicron was detected in the U.S...This new variant is cause for continued vigilance, not panic." https://t.co/oKHV0fIoSA pic.twitter.com/fWvo2uL0Yp— ABC News (@ABC) December 1, 2021
The first case was identified as a resident of San Francisco, according to the Mayor's office. The city 'does not' anticipate any new lockdowns or other restrictions in response.
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CNN's Chief White House Correspondent Kaitlan Collins has tweeted that the CDC has identified first case of Omicron in the US in California, according to a source.
But, but , but, isn't California all masked up?
The CDC reports that the individual was a traveler returning from South Africa.
The individual was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms.
The individual is now self-quarantining.
Fauci explains that it's "important to get vaccinated, get booster shots"...
First confirmed case of Omicron variant detected in the United States
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 (B. 1.1.529).
The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021.
The individual, who was fully vaccinated and had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive.
All close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative.
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. This will be the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant detected in the United States.
On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B. 1.1.529, as a Variant of Concern and named it Omicron and on November 30, 2021, the United States also classified it as a Variant of Concern. CDC has been actively monitoring and preparing for this variant, and we will continue to work diligently with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more.
Despite the detection of Omicron, Delta remains the predominant strain in the United States.
We have one word: "Brace..."
We can only imagine what public health officials will do now.