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New omicron COVID-19 case may have been spread locally, County believes

A woman with a stroller walks past a COVID-19 vaccine event sign at Hoover High School, Dec. 1, 2021.
Jacob Aere
A woman with a stroller walks past a COVID-19 vaccine event sign at Hoover High School, Dec. 1, 2021.

A man in his 30s is believed to have contracted the Omicron COVID-19 variant locally, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced Friday.

The patient tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. The San Diego Epidemiology and Research for COVID Health Alliance determined it was the Omicron variant through whole genome sequencing late Thursday, making it the second documented case of the variant in the county.

The case was detected through the Expedited COVID Identification Environment lab at UC San Diego.


According to the HHSA, the San Diego County resident did not have a travel history, had mild symptoms which have resolved and did not need to be hospitalized. The man, who was fully vaccinated and had received his booster shot more than two weeks earlier, is currently at home in isolation.

"This case confirms our expectation that the Omicron variant is now spreading in the community," said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. "While the Delta variant remains the main strain circulating in San Diego, we expect to see more Omicron cases in the region.

"San Diegans should continue taking the recommended precautions, especially getting all the recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses," Wooten said.

The county reported 607 new COVID-19 infections and five deaths Thursday, increasing the cumulative totals to 391,545 cases and 4,374 deaths.

The number of COVID patients hospitalized in San Diego County remained unchanged from Wednesday at 320, according to the latest state figures.


Of those patients, 80 were in intensive care, five less than Wednesday.

A total of 528,256 San Diego County residents have received their COVID-19 booster shots and all county vaccination sites have Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccinations available.

County officials recommend making an appointment before visiting a vaccination site to avoid having to wait. Walk-ins are being accommodated daily until capacity is reached.

San Diego County's case rate per 100,000 residents is 14.2 overall, 8.3 for fully vaccinated people and 24.8 for not fully vaccinated San Diegans.

A total of 26,230 new tests were reported to the county on Thursday. A total of 4.1% of all tests returned positive over the past week.

More than 2.69 million San Diego County residents have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine, 85.5% of residents age 5 and older.

More than 2.39 million people, or 75.9% of residents 5 and older, are fully vaccinated.