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First case of COVID-19 Omicron variant found in San Francisco 


New strain is ‘heavily mutated’ but may cause milder symptoms

–The first reported case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the US was reported Wednesday in San Francisco. The individual was fully vaccinated and had just returned from South Africa, according to the US Centers for Disease Control.

Officials are calling the variant, “heavily mutated.” The current vaccines are believed to provide at least some protection from the heavily mutated omicron strain, reports say, but officials have warned that many of these mutations could lead to increased antibody resistance and transmissibility, which could limit the effectiveness of the current vaccines. The symptoms of this variant are described as “extremely mild” by the South African doctor who first raised the alarm over the new strain, however investigations into the variant are ongoing.

While much is still unknown about the Omicron variant, the San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department recommends steps to can take to help protect yourself and your family from all variants: get vaccinated, wear a mask, get tested, and stay home if you’re sick.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom and officials in San Francisco said they didn’t anticipate imposing new restrictions on residents in light of Omicron.

The California Department of Public Health has published a fact sheet on the Omicron variant with a summary and California angle on the situation.

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