First confirmed Omicron variant of COVID-19 found in the U.S.

During the White House press briefing on Wednesday, Dr. Anthony Fauci said the first U.S. case of the Omicron variant has been detected in California.

Video Transcript

ANTHONY FAUCI: As some of you may have heard, the California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health and the CDC have confirmed that a recent case of COVID-19 among an individual in California was caused by the Omicron variant. Genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California at San Francisco, and the sequence was confirmed at the CDC as being consistent with the omicron. Variant.

So I know there are a lot of questions, but here's what we know right now. The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November the 22nd and tested positive on November the 29th. The individual is self-quarantining, and all close contacts have been contacted, and all close contacts thus far have tested negative.

The individual was fully vaccinated and experienced mild symptoms, which are improving at this point. So this is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the Omicron variant detected in the United States. And as all of you know-- of course, we've been discussing this-- we knew that it was just a matter of time before the first case of Omicron would be detected in the United States.

And as you know, we know, I've been saying it, and my colleagues on the medical team and others have been saying-- we know what we need to do to protect people. Get vaccinated if you're not already vaccinated. Get boosted if you've been vaccinated for more than six months with an mRNA or two months with J&J, and all the other things we've been talking about about getting your children vaccinated, masking in indoor congregate settings, et cetera.

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