2nd omicron case confirmed in LA County: officials

Coronavirus

A second case of the omicron COVID-19 variant was confirmed in Los Angeles County, officials reported Monday.

The infected person is a college student who returned to the region after traveling for a holiday on the East Coast.

The individual is fully vaccinated, has mild symptoms and is self isolating, L.A. County public health officials said in a news release.

Close contacts in L.A. County have been identified, are quarantining and are being tested.

Additionally, health officials are working with the university where the individual is a student to determine if there are any other close contacts.

The person likely became infected outside of L.A. County, based on travel history, officials said. No further details about the individual or the case were released.

The first reported case of the omicron variant in L.A. County was detected and confirmed last week, after a San Francisco resident was identified as the first known case of the variant in the U.S.

The variant was first identified by scientists in South Africa and designated a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization. It has now been detected in several countries and carries mutations that may impact infectiousness, prompting swift travel restrictions across international borders.

A rapid COVID-19 testing site opened at the international terminal of LAX after the first case was reported locally.

Local health experts continue urging residents to get inoculated against COVID-19 and encourage those who qualify to receive a booster shot as well. Officials are especially concerned over a possible winter surge amid the variant.

“While we are still determining the transmissibility and the severity of omicron, I encourage residents and travelers to take additional steps to protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated or boosters, tested if you feel sick or are a close contact, and wearing your mask,” Barbara Ferrer, L.A. County’s public health director said in the news release. “Layering on as many protections as possible will give us a better opportunity to slow the spread of this potentially dangerous variant as we prepare for holiday gatherings and a potential winter surge.” 

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