UPDATE: The first case of the omicron variant has arrived in Los Angeles, according to the County Department of Public Health. Its announcement follows an earlier one on a case in New York City.
For Los Angeles, the unnamed patient returned to Los Angeles County after travel to South Africa via London on Nov. 22. The L.A. DOH speculated that this meant the infection is most likely travel-related.
The individual was described as a fully vaccinated adult and a Los Angeles County resident. He is self-isolating, and his symptoms are improving without medical care. A small number of close contacts in Los Angeles have been identified and, to date, all have tested negative and have no symptoms.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have always known there would be more mutations, resulting in the possibility of a more dangerous variant than the Delta variant,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, PhD, MPH, MEd, Director of Public Health. She went on to admit that the “impact of omicron” is uncertain.
The infected man “reported traveling to New York City and attending the Anime New York City 2021 at the Javits Center from the 19th through the 21st [of November],” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki announced this morning. He “developed mild symptoms on November 22 and sought COVID-19 testing on November 24,” according to the CDC. His symptoms have since resolved, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.
There was no mention of any recent travel to Africa in this case. The man, who is an adult, is vaccinated.
WH Press Sec. Jen Psaki briefs reporters on Minnesota Omicron variant case, saying vaccinated adult male attended anime convention at NYC's Javits Center from November 19th-21st. pic.twitter.com/6s3JODyyf6
— The Recount (@therecount) December 2, 2021
The anime event was expected to attract over 50,000 fans, who were required to show proof of vaccination and wear a mask.
“We should assume there is community spread of the variant in our city,” said New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, according to The New York Daily News.
NY Governor Kathy Hochul said officials believe the man caught Omicron in her state. She also said that there are no confirmed cases in New York as of yet.
The first U.S. case of the highly-mutated variant was announced yesterday. It was identified in San Francisco. The infected person, said to be between 18 and 45 years old, had recently arrived via airplane from South Africa, where the variant was first discovered.
President Joe Biden is set to announce n