LA County confirms two more cases of COVID omicron variant, including local transmission

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed two more cases of the omicron variant of COVID-19 Friday. While one case is in a person who had recently traveled to several countries in Africa, the other, LACDPH has confirmed, is a case of local transmission. The two cases are not related.

Both people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The person who contracted the virus through local transmission has only experienced mild symptoms. Following contact tracing, the Department of Public Health found just one other contact of the two individuals who had tested positive for the virus. While LACDPH did not indicate whether that person had been vaccinated, the department said they are isolating at home. 

RELATED: LA County confirms locally acquired case of omicron COVID-19 variant

The two new cases confirmed Friday mean six cases of omicron have been confirmed in LA County so far. Friday's confirmation of a case of local transmission is believed to be just the second such instance. LA County Director of Public Health Barbara Ferrer says she expects that number to go up.

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"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," Ferrer said in a press release. "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. The 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."

In addition to getting vaccinated the department recommends

  • Getting tested to help reduce the spread, especially if you traveled for the holidays, have had a possible exposure or have symptoms
  • Adhering to masking requirements when indoors or at large outdoor events, regardless of vaccination status

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