The first U.S. case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant has been identified in California, according to White House representatives.
The woman was a traveler incoming from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive for the Omicron variant on Nov. 29. The White House added that the woman was fully vaccinated, tested positive in San Francisco and began feeling symptoms around Nov. 25.
“Today, the CDC has confirmed the first case of the Omicron variant detected in the United States,” the White House said in a press release. “As the President said last Friday, it was only a matter of time before the first case of Omicron was detected in the U.S. We are prepared to meet this challenge with science and speed.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom briefly acknowledged the Omicron case on Wednesday, saying that as soon as the woman tested positive for COVID-19, the test was sent to the University of California San Francisco, where it was sequenced and deemed to be the Omicron variant.
“The panic has gotten ahead of the information,” Newsom said. “I’m going to reiterate that this person is doing well. The people that this individual came into contact have been tested and we look forward to more information coming out, as appropriate.”
The governor added that the individual did not receive a booster shot after the 6 month window of being fully vaccinated. The individual’s close contacts have not tested positive as of this writing.
The individual also was not hospitalized and is expected to fully recover, according to Newsom.
While addressing the concerns over the new COVID-19 variant on Monday, President Joe Biden said it was “not a cause for panic.”
Initial flight restrictions have been placed for incoming flights in nine countries, with additional instruction expected to come from the White House on Thursday.
Of those who have been identified with the new variant, the cases have been mild and no hospitalizations have been reported.
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