Omicron variant detected in Berkeley, Alameda County

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Five individuals in Alameda County — including one city of Berkeley resident — have tested positive for the omicron COVID-19 variant.

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City of Berkeley and Alameda County health officials detected five cases of the emerging omicron variant among county residents Friday, one of whom is a city resident.  

The five individuals who tested positive — who are between 18 and 49-years-old — are sustaining mild symptoms and were vaccinated. Most of them had received their booster shot, and none of them have been hospitalized, according to a city press release. 

These five cases are among 12 local cases connected to a Nov. 27 wedding in Wisconsin. Those in close contact with the individuals who tested positive have also been instructed to follow quarantine guidelines.  

The cases are currently being investigated by Alameda County and city of Berkeley Department of Public Health, according to the release. 

In the meantime, the city is strongly encouraging residents to get vaccinated and receive boosters, if eligible. 

“Public health officials continue to be vigilant and are monitoring evidence of this variant’s transmissibility and the severity of illness resulting from infection,” the release reads. “We don’t yet know how Omicron will impact a highly vaccinated region like the Bay Area.” 

Check back for updates. 

Mallika Seshadri is the managing editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @SeshadriMallika.