Omicron variant detected in 5 of 12 California COVID-19 patients who attended Wisconsin wedding

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. — At least five of 12 people who were diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending a Nov. 27 Milwaukee County wedding were infected with the omicron variant, state and city health officials confirmed late Friday.

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The outbreak was reported just two days after the first U.S. case of the omicron variant was identified in California, Madison.com reported.

“The 12 individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 are between the ages of 18-49. All individuals were vaccinated, and most had received boosters. They are mildly symptomatic and no one has been hospitalized,” a news release from California’s Alameda County Department of Public Health stated.

All 12 of the wedding attendees who fell ill are northern California residents, and a California state lab used genomic sequencing to identify the omicron variant in five of the cases, but sequencing on the remaining seven cases has not yet been completed, Madison.com reported.

The agency did confirm, however, that one of the 12 sickened wedding guests had recently traveled internationally, but the traveler’s itinerary was not disclosed.

“No cases among Wisconsin residents have been identified at this time but the investigation is ongoing,” according to the news release.

“Although the news that this variant is continuing to spread throughout the country is concerning, it should not be a cause for panic. We know COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing serious illness and death,” Wisconsin DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake stated in the release.

“That’s why it’s critical that all eligible Wisconsinites get vaccinated or get their booster as soon as possible and follow public health best practices to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe,” she added.

Meanwhile, DHS and Milwaukee’s health department are contacting all Wisconsinites who were close contacts of the 12 COVID-19 patients, and isolation and quarantine protocols are being followed, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

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