On December 6, 2021, the Long Beach Health Department received confirmation of its first case of COVID-19 with mutations consistent with the new Omicron variant (B.1.1.529). The individual, who was fully vaccinated and is asymptomatic, returned to Long Beach on Nov. 29, 2021, after international travel (not to the southern African region).
As of now, the impact of Omicron is not fully known, but everyone is urged to reduce COVID-19 transmission by getting vaccinated or boosted, wearing masks indoors and at large outdoor events, and by getting tested when feeling sick or if exposed to COVID-19.
This variant may be more contagious, but it is believed that current vaccines should provide some protection against the Omicron variant.
The Health Department urges everyone to become vaccinated and get their boosters if eligible. The more people who are vaccinated, the lower the chance that any variant, including Omicron, can get a foothold in our community. The Delta variant, which is highly contagious and for which the vaccine is effective, remains the dominant strain of COVID-19 in Long Beach.