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Five Omicron variant cases in Alameda County linked to Wisconsin wedding

Alameda County and Berkeley public health officials said Friday they’ve identified five East Bay residents with the Omicron variant of Covid-19.

The patients, said to be mildly symptomatic, were among 12 cases linked to a Nov. 27 wedding in Wisconsin, which one person attended after traveling internationally.

The announcement comes just two days after the first case of Omicron in the United States was reported in San Francisco, in a person who recently returned from South Africa, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

A state lab used genomic sequencing to identify the five East Bay cases. The sequencing has not been completed for all 12 cases.

The 12 people, all of whom had been vaccinated and most of whom had received boosters, are between the ages of 18 and 49. One lives in Berkeley, and the rest are from elsewhere in Alameda County.

Alameda County and the City of Berkeley Public Health Departments are investigating the cases along with the California Department of Public Health. People who have come into close contact with the group are being notified and given advice on quarantining.

It’s unknown how Omicron will impact highly vaccinated regions such as the Bay Area, but it’s believed that being vaccinated continues to provide the best protection against severe illness from Covid-19 that could result in hospitalization and death.

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