The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has received confirmation of an additional case of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with the new Omicron variant. The individual is a college student who returned to Los Angeles County after holiday travel on the East Coast. The individual is fully vaccinated, had mild symptoms, and is self-isolating.
Public Health has identified close contacts in Los Angeles County, all of whom are quarantining and being tested. Public Health is working with the university to determine if there are any additional close contacts. Based on travel history, it is likely that the infection was acquired outside of Los Angeles County.
“While we are still determining the transmissibility and the severity of Omicron, I encourage residents and travelers to take additional steps to protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated or boosters, tested if you feel sick or are a close contact, and wearing your mask,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. “Layering on as many protections as possible will give us a better opportunity to slow the spread of this potentially dangerous variant as we prepare for holiday gatherings and a potential winter surge.”
Getting vaccinated or boosted remains critical in preparation for the holiday season. Residents can walk-in to any Public Health vaccination site or make an appointment at the hundreds of additional sites across the county. For more information, visit VaccinateLACounty.com.
Residents who have traveled for the holidays should get tested if they traveled internationally or to locations in this country with high transmission rates, or they participated at gatherings and events with large numbers of people. There are free testing sites throughout the county and individuals can go to https://covid19.lacounty.gov/testing/ to find out information about where to get tested. Residents must also isolate if they have a positive COVID test result and quarantine if they are a vaccinated close contact with symptoms or if they are an unvaccinated close contact.
All residents across L.A. County should continue following masking protocols, which require residents to wear a mask when indoors or at large outdoor mega events – regardless of vaccination status. Individuals should also wear a mask when at any crowded indoor or outdoor events.