L.A. County health officials have confirmed two additional cases of Omicron, a variation of COVID-19, from an individual who recently traveled to several countries in Africa and another individual who contracted Omicron from local transmission.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the two cases are unrelated. The traveler is a fully vaccinated student, had mild symptoms and had not received a booster vaccine.
Public Health identified multiple close contacts; all of them were vaccinated and tested negative.
Health officials identified the second case as a fully vaccinated individual with no recent travel history. The person has mild symptoms, according to a statement released Friday by Public Health.
Health officials identified multiple close contacts, almost all of whom are vaccinated and have tested negative. However, one additional close contact has tested positive and is isolating at home.
“We anticipate seeing increased numbers of individuals infected with the Omicron variant as we are beginning to see cases of local transmission among residents that have not traveled,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of Public Health. “All indications are that among those fully vaccinated, illness severity if infected with Omicron is mild, reminding us that all eligible residents need to urgently get vaccinated or boosted.”
Vaccines are likely to provide much-needed protection against serious illness caused by Omicron and are already known to provide protection against infection and disease associated with the Delta variant that continues to dominate across the county, Ferrer added.
Health officials encouraged all residents across L.A. County to continue testing to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, especially if residents are traveling for the holidays. They also emphasized the importance of adhering to masking requirements indoors or at large outdoor mega-events.