The city of Berkeley is investigating its first COVID-19 case linked to the omicron variant, officials announced Friday evening. The infection has been traced back to a wedding in Wisconsin on Saturday. Alameda County, which has a separate public health department, is investigating 11 other local cases tied to the same event. See the city of Berkeley’s statement below. It appears in full.

Effective, quick work by health care providers and public health case investigators identified five mildly symptomatic COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant among Alameda County residents.

These cases are among 12 local COVID-19 cases linked to a November 27th Wisconsin wedding, which one of these individuals attended upon return from international travel. A State lab used genomic sequencing to identify the five infected with the COVID-19 Omicron variant, which is now being detected around the country and the world.

These individuals are between the ages of 18-49. One individual is a resident of the City of Berkeley, which has a separate health jurisdiction, and the remaining 11 are residents in the rest of Alameda County. All 12 individuals were vaccinated, and most had received boosters. They are mildly symptomatic. No one has been hospitalized. Genomic sequencing data is not yet available for all 12 cases.

Alameda County and the City of Berkeley Public Health Departments are investigating these cases with the support of the California Department of Public Health. Close contacts are being notified and provided with isolation and quarantine guidance.

Public health officials continue to be vigilant and are monitoring evidence of this variant’s transmissibility and the severity of illness resulting from infection. We don’t yet know how Omicron will impact a highly vaccinated region like the Bay Area. We remind residents that vaccination continues to provide the best protection against severe illness from COVID-19 that could result in hospitalization and death.

Residents should continue to utilize all strategies that we know work to prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Get vaccinated and boosted, if eligible
  • Stay home if sick
  • Get tested if symptomatic or exposed
  • Wear a mask indoors
  • Wash your hands
  • Avoid crowded and poorly ventilated indoor settings
  • If gathering or traveling, get tested before and after

Featured image: Amir Aziz

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