CDC: First confirmed case of omicron variant detected in the U.S.


As predicted by many leading U.S. health officials, the COVID-19 omicron variant has been detected in the U.S.

On Wednesday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that a case of the omicron variant was confirmed by the California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health.

The individual was a traveler who returned from South Africa on November 22, 2021. The person, who was fully vaccinated, but not boosted, and had mild symptoms that are improving, is self-quarantining and has been since testing positive. All close contacts have been contacted and have tested negative.

Related Story: Omicron COVID-19 variant: ‘A cause for concern, not a cause for panic’

Genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, and the sequence was confirmed at CDC as being consistent with the omicron variant. This will be the first confirmed case of COVID-19 caused by the omicron variant detected in the United States. 

On November 26, 2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified a new variant, B.1.1.529, as a variant of concern and named it omicron and on November 30, 2021, the United States also classified it as a variant of concern. 

The CDC has been actively monitoring and preparing for this variant, and we will continue to work diligently with other U.S. and global public health and industry partners to learn more. Despite the detection of omicron, delta remains the predominant strain in the United States.

The recent emergence of the omicron variant (B.1.1.529) further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and general prevention strategies needed to protect against COVID-19. Everyone 5 and older should get vaccinated boosters are recommended for everyone 18 years and older.  

For more information on the omicron variant, visit