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Three people test positive for omicron in Contra Costa County

on December 21, 2021

Contra Costa Health Services reported Monday that it has identified the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19 in three people in Contra Costa County.

“We knew it was just a matter of time before the omicron variant appeared in Contra Costa County,” said Dr. Chris Farnitano, Contra Costa County health officer, said in a news release. “We’ve been encouraging anyone who is eligible to get a booster dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine to do so. With today’s news and the holidays just around the corner, that message is even more important.”

The positive tests suggest omicron has been circulating in the community for several weeks, the release said. It has also been detected in other Bay Area counties.

Farnitano said booster shots will protect people from the most serious virus symptoms.

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According to the news release, none of the three people who tested positive for omicron in Contra Costa had the booster shot, though two were fully vaccinated. None of the three needed hospitalization. Health Services said a third of eligible county residents have received a booster shot.

The county had more than 1,500 active COVID cases on Tuesday, including 33 people hospitalized with the virus. Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, more than 104,000 cases have been diagnosed in Contra Costa, and more than 1,000 county residents have died from the virus.

About 77% of the county population is vaccinated, which is more than the statewide rate of 66%.

Children who attend West Contra Costa Unified schools are required to be vaccinated by Feb. 18, and students across the state soon will be required.

Health Services said free vaccines are widely available in Contra Costa from health care providers, pharmacies and Health Services. Those needing vaccines can find information on Health Services’ website, or by calling 833-829-2626. Appointments can be made online.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends boosters for anyone over 16 who has been fully vaccinated for at least six months.

Health officials are advising even vaccinated people to be cautious around the holidays by wearing masks indoors and keeping gatherings small. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, health officials say you should stay home and get tested.

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