SANTA ANA, Calif.—Orange County officials reported declining infection and hospitalization rates from the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus prior to the first confirmed case of the Omicron virus variant in San Francisco on Dec. 1.
In Orange County, CCP virus case rates dropped from 7.5 to 6.3 per 100,000 people between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30, according to the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA). The daily cases also declined from 242 to 204.
A fully vaccinated man in San Francisco tested positive for the Omicron virus variant on Nov. 29, after returning from South Africa on Nov. 22, Gov. Gavin Newson said at a Dec. 1 press conference.
The identity of the man remains undisclosed for privacy, but the governor said that the man’s symptoms began on Nov. 25 and have been mild.
After receiving a positive COVID-19 test, the man’s results were transferred to the University of San Francisco for sequencing to determine whether it was the Omicron virus variant.
Those in close contact with the man after his return from South Africa have been tested, and are not positive to date, the governor said.
While there is no knowledge of an outbreak in the San Francisco Area, the governor urged more residents to get vaccinated.
“We have to keep our mind open, but maintain our vigilance. That’s why we’re here and just doubling down on what we’re doing [with vaccines] is the most important message I think we can communicate so we can avoid any shutdowns, we can avoid shutting down our schools or businesses. None of us want to see that happen. I certainly don’t want to see that happen. And I see no indication at this moment whatsoever,” Newsom said at a Dec. 1 press conference in Merced, California.
To combat the spread of the Omicron variant, California is increasing CCP virus testing at airports for residents returning from South Africa, Newsom said.
OCHCA said it’s unclear how contagious and severe the symptoms of the Omicron virus variant are.
“More is still being learned about how the Omicron variant spreads, infects people, and responds to vaccines,” OCHCA said in a Nov. 30 statement. “It is currently unknown if Omicron causes more severe COVID-19 illness than other variants or how it might impact response to treatment.”
Despite the decrease in cases, hospitalization increased from 188 to 196, including intensive care unit patients from 49 to 52 per day.