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posted by martyb on Thursday December 02 2021, @09:21AM   Printer-friendly
from the ten-percent-of-the-US-population-lives-in-California dept.

Omicron is now in the U.S., with first case found in California:

The first U.S. case of the omicron variant has been identified in California in a traveler who returned from South Africa on Nov. 22, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

The patient had mild symptoms that were improving and was in isolation, officials said.

Much remains unknown about the highly mutated variant, which scientists fear could be more transmissible and more resistant to vaccines. The new variant has been identified in more than 20 countries since it was first identified in southern Africa last week.

[...] Federal health officials are expanding a program that offers free coronavirus testing at key U.S. airports, part of strengthened efforts to monitor international arrivals amid growing concerns about the omicron variant.

Under the program, visitors from eight African nations, including those connecting through Europe, who arrive at New York’s John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, San Francisco International and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International airports, will be given the option of taking a test when they arrive. Those who volunteer also will be given the option of an at-home test to take three to five days after arrival.

International arrivals already are required to show proof of a negative virus test before boarding U.S.-bound flights, but Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky said during a White House briefing this week that the screening program at four of the nation’s busiest airports will provide additional data that can aid in the agency’s monitoring efforts.

First case of omicron COVID variant identified in the US:

The first confirmed US case of the omicron variant of COVID-19 has been identified in California, Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a White House briefing Wednesday. The infected person arrived in the US from South Africa on Nov. 22 and tested positive on Nov. 29, Fauci said.

"Genomic sequencing was conducted at the University of California at San Francisco, and the sequence was confirmed at the CDC as being consistent with the omicron variant," said Fauci, the chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden.

[...] The person was fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine -- but had not had a booster shot -- and experienced only mild symptoms that are now improving. They are quarantining, and all close contacts have so far tested negative, Fauci said. The person is a resident of San Francisco between the ages of 18 and 49, and was not hospitalized, California Governor Gavin Newsom said during a press conference Wednesday.

"We knew that it was just a matter of time before the first case of omicron would be detected in the United States," Fauci said.

Fauci reiterated that within the next three weeks, there will be a lot more information about the transmissibility and severity of this strain of the disease, as well as the effectiveness of vaccinations and booster shots against the omicron variant. The new variant was first identified in South Africa in late November.

Also at Ars Technica and

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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday December 02 2021, @10:23PM (4 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday December 02 2021, @10:23PM (#1201658) Homepage Journal

    Dude. Coffee. You need some.

    I've complained all along about the Dem response to Trump's early attempts to shut down travel. Remember "hug a Chinese"? Whatever bullshit either side wants to clutter the scene with, Trump tried to shut down travel in the very early days of the pandemic. Democrats screamed that meaningless refrain, 'DAS RACISSSSSS' and demanded that everyone in the US find a Chinese person to hug.

    Trump buckled under pressure, and backed off shutting down travel, when he should have got more aggressive, and shut down all ports of entry into the United States.

    Once we had confirmed cases here in the US, it was already too late to prevent the pandemic reaching us. But, it's still not to late to prevent the different strains from entering or leaving the country.

    Problem is, NO ONE is willing to just shut it all down.

    And, my position all along has been, if you aren't willing to quarantine completely, all the petty bullshit authoritarian measures from either party are just that - BULLSHIT! I refuse to take half measures to appease half assed fools.

    Abortion is the number one killed of children in the United States.
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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @10:37PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 02 2021, @10:37PM (#1201664)

    Parent said:
    "hug a Chinese"

    That's grammatically incorrect, as the object in that sentence is an adjective. The correct phrasing would be, "hug a Chinaman."

    • (Score: 2) by ChrisMaple on Friday December 03 2021, @01:37AM

      by ChrisMaple (6964) on Friday December 03 2021, @01:37AM (#1201710)

      It is common usage in U.S. English to optionally omit implied words whose presence is understood by most listeners:

      "hug a Chinese [person]."

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03 2021, @05:27AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03 2021, @05:27AM (#1201746)

    You should lay off the covfefe.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03 2021, @05:31AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 03 2021, @05:31AM (#1201749)

      And, you should lay off the CNN.