The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has received confirmation of three additional cases of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529).
Two of the three newly infected individuals did not travel; the third person recently traveled domestically. All three individuals are fully vaccinated and experienced either no symptoms or mild illness. Close contacts have been identified, notified, and are getting tested.
“These latest cases of the Omicron variant in Los Angeles County underscores our need to be cautious and prudent as we enter the holiday season,” said Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “All indications are that Omicron can spread rapidly among both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. Early data suggests that many of those fully vaccinated do not experience serious illness, reminding us that one of the most critical steps to take right now is to urgently get vaccinated if not yet protected or boosted as soon as you are due for the additional dose. The vaccines are likely to provide much needed protection against severe illness associated with Omicron and are already known to provide protection against infection and disease associated with the Delta variant that still dominates across the County.”
Additionally, all residents across LA County should continue:
-Getting tested to help reduce the spread, especially if you traveled for the holidays, have had a possible exposure, have symptoms, or are gathering indoors with non-household members
-Adhering to masking requirements when indoors or at large outdoor mega events, regardless of vaccination status
Residents are also reminded that they are legally required to isolate if they have a positive COVID test result and that vaccinated close contacts with symptoms and unvaccinated close contacts need to quarantine.