14 cases of new omicron sub-variant BA.2 detected in California, including LA and Orange counties

The California Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of 14 cases of the new COVID variant BA.2 in the state.

The cases were identified in Los Angeles, Santa Clara, San Diego, Orange, and Tulare counties. 

"New variants will continue to evolve as long as there are large pockets of unvaccinated people. Strengthening our protection against COVID-19 through vaccination and boosting is more important than ever," the department stated. 

As of January 26, 2022, California has confirmed a total of 7,569,687 COVID-19 cases and 78,316 deaths.

In the U.S., 96 cases have been identified as the new omicron BA.2 variant and scientists are monitoring it closely to determine whether it is any more infectious or deadly.

The new omicron BA.2 variant has been identified in at least 40 countries and is spreading quickly.
The World Health Organization says investigations of BA.2 "should be prioritized."

RELATED: Public Health: LA County 'passed the peak' of omicron cases

Pfizer omicron vaccine: Company begins studying updated shot to match variant

"It's dangerous to assume that omicron will be the last variant or that we are in the end game," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization Director-General.

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