Health officials on a federal, state and local level are urging individuals to take measures to protect themselves from COVID-19 as the second U.S Omicron variant case is identified in a Minnesota man who attended an anime conference in New York City with thousands of attendees.
The first omicron case was announced on Dec.1 and confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention along with the California Department of Public Health in a Northern California individual who returned from South Africa on Nov.22. According to the president’s chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci, the individual was fully vaccinated and experienced very mild symptoms which are improving as of Wednesday.
The Anime NYC 2021 Convention at the Javits Convention Center drew over 50,000 people on Nov.19-.21, the Minnesota Department of Public Health said in a statement. Event organizers say attendees were required to wear masks and provide proof of recently having received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The Minnesota man began experiencing mild symptoms on Nov. 22 and was recently vaccinated with a booster shot in early November, according to Minnesota health officials. The statement says the man sought out COVID-19 testing on Nov.24 and his symptoms have subsided since then.
Many mutations are found on the Omicron variant, including total of 26 to 32 protein spikes. A technical brief released on Nov.28 by the World Health Organization announced concern of the new Omicron variant which poses a “very high” global risk with the potential of high transmission and a “high likelihood” of escape from antibodies.
“There’s a lot about Omicron we don’t know yet, such as how it spreads, how sick it can make people and how well existing vaccines work against it,” said Cameron Kaiser, M.D., M.P.H., County deputy public health officer. “In the meantime, the same precautions we’ve been advising for other strains of COVID-19 should help prevent or lessen the likelihood of people getting and spreading the Omicron variant, as well as the Delta, which is still the dominant strain.”:
The CDC’s guidance on masks and vaccines remained the same. Fauci said it was just a matter of time before the variant reached the United States. President Joe Biden and Dr. Fauci urges people to be vigilant about wearing masks, get vaccinated or get a booster shot.
Last week, the county of San Diego reported 2,955 COVID-19 cases compared to 3,197 cases in the week prior. San Diego County has not detected cases of the Omicron variant.
Regular monitoring of the Omicron variant is being conducted by the county and the local medical community. The county said it is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health to review recommendations when the variant arrives in the region.
The following measures are recommended by health officials to protect against all COVID-19 variants:
- Get vaccinated and get a booster if you qualify. The vaccine is available at health care providers, retail pharmacies and community clinics. You can also make an appointment or find a site near you by calling (833) 422-4255 or visiting the My Turn website.
- Wear a mask, especially in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.
- Get tested if you have any symptoms, whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. You can make a free test appointment or find a walk-in test clinic at coronavirus-sd.com.
- Wash your hands frequently and stay home if you’re sick and distance yourself from others.
Chula Vista Fire personnel is administering both Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine preliminary doses and a booster dose for eligible populations. Moderna doses will be administered every Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. Pfizer doses and Pediatric vaccines of Pfizer are offered every Thursday from 1 to 4 p.m., both at the Civic Center complex, 276 Fourth Avenue, Building C. Individuals must bring their ID and vaccination card for those receiving a second dose or booster. Visit the website to make an appointment at this location or other county locations.
Testing for COVID-19 is offered by Chula Vista Fire Department personnel at City Hall, 276 Fourth Avenue between buildings B and C. Testing is available Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 to 4 p.m. Appointments are required.
Residents may visit the County of San Diego COVID testing site in Chula Vista, located at the Oleander Community Center at 1301 Oleander Avenue. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments are recommended, but walk-ins are welcome until the daily maximum testing capacity is reached.
More information about appointment assistance and COVID-19 is available on the webpage.