Home Main Category Announcements Omicron Variant Of COVID-19 Detected In Contra Costa County

Omicron Variant Of COVID-19 Detected In Contra Costa County

Photo: File

Genomic sequencing of positive COVID-19 test results from Contra Costa County has identified three cases with the omicron variant of the virus.

The results confirm the presence of the highly contagious variant in the county and underscore the need for residents to consider healthy choices this holiday season to protect themselves and their loved ones – especially getting a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are eligible.

“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. “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. People who get the booster are far less likely to get gravely ill or be hospitalized. That’s our wish for this holiday season.”

None of the three people infected with Omicron had gotten a booster shot, although two were fully vaccinated. So far, no one has been hospitalized.

Omicron likely circulated in the community for several weeks. It had previously been detected in several other Bay Area counties, and genetic evidence of the variant was detected in a wastewater sample from central Contra Costa on Dec. 8.

Vaccination remains our top protection against omicron and all variants of COVID-19. A timely booster dose maximizes protection against both infection and serious illness.

As of today, just over one-third of eligible Contra Costa residents had received a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are widely available in the county from healthcare providers, pharmacies and Contra Costa Health Service’s (CCHS) no-cost clinics – call 1-833-829-2626 or make an appointment online.

Anyone who is 16 or older and was previously vaccinated can get a booster dose once six months have passed since their last dose of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or two months have passed since they received a dose of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine. People over 50 and those with significant underlying health conditions are especially encouraged to get a booster.

While public health experts are not recommending that those who are vaccinated and or who have received the booster dose cancel holiday plans, they are urging caution. Ways to reduce risk of becoming exposed or spreading COVID-19 include:

  • Staying home and isolating themselves if they develop COVID-19 symptoms, which can often resemble cold or flu symptoms
  • Getting a COVID-19 test promptly if symptoms develop
  • Getting a COVID-19 test before traveling or gathering with people who do not live with you, and again three to five days after traveling or gathering
  • Wear masks or face coverings in indoor public spaces, and when gathering indoors with people who do not live with you

Home COVID-19 tests are fast, convenient, and available at many drugstores. No-cost testing is also available through CCHS by calling 1-833-829-2626 or making an online appointment.

The 7-day average number of daily new COVID-19 cases reported in the county has increased about 5% over the past two weeks, and the number of people hospitalized in Contra Costa because of the virus has remained stable so far this month.

The delta variant of COVID-19 remains the predominant strain in Contra Costa, accounting for more than 97% of genetically sequenced COVID-19 samples collected in the county.

Visit cchealth.org/coronavirus for updates and more information about Contra Costa’s emergency response to the pandemic.


  1. As my Borg buddy tells it, resistance is futile, however, whether you end up in home quarantine with mild symptoms or end up taking a hospital bed and doctors and nursing staff is entirely up to you.

  2. Not so worried here. I’m actually surprised at the panic that the media and some government officials are trying to instill in the public.
    Fact is that this variant, which first came from South Africa, has caused very little hospitalizations there and I don’t even believe any deaths. It’s like a flu .
    Yes, I’m vaccinated and wear my masks, but I’m not going to tremble and fear every time Dr.Fauci says something. (Actually I remember in the very beginning you told us all not to wear masks!) (Then our state banned visits to beaches….. A place where covid cannot exist in the salt air and sun… But we were banned from going there and even threatened with arrest)
    I’m being safe but I’m tired of this all!
    I don’t think any word in human history has been used as much as the word “covid”.

    • “It’s like a flu .”

      You do know, somewhere, that IT is not one thing…It continually mutates. And, with billions of unvaccinated hosts, we are not done with that. Do you understand that flu-like is NOT necessarily where this ends. Can you imagine an unfavorable outcome for your family or yourself. Can you imagine that? Now, we can pretend that outcome is not possible and whistle past the graveyard…or we can confront it and combat it with our collective actions. Your preference is disappointing but not unexpected.

  3. Mild symptoms or no symptoms, once you are infected you are precluded from working as a doctor, nurse, teacher, bus driver, TSA, long shoreman, etc. If it’s a big wave, we all pay the price, especially anyone denied medical care for lack of staff.

  4. To quote a Democratic Colorado governor. “If you get sick at this point, it’s your own darn fault. You’ve had more than enough time to get vaccinated at hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, bus stops, etc.”

    Less than 10 states have mask mandates. They’ve been lifted or they never had one. The oppressive, government overreach needs to end. Kudos to the Colorado governor who has the common sense not to buy into the hysterical BS.

    • “it’s your own darn fault”

      As a catcher, I caught a backward-thrown bat in the face. You don’t wear a mask when you are 8 years old. I’ve had other maladies, not all of my making. When Laurie Garrett says Omicron is “incredibly contagious”, you can cockily suggest that it is no worse than a cold or the flu…but you are no epidemiologist or fortune teller. And the sad, OBVIOUS fact is that this mutation and the next could be a killer or not, but YOU, YOU have no say in that, no control over that outcome. You just keep whistling!

  5. There are numerous alternative medications available for Covid 19. All the alternative medicines should be available to all of us.

    Some medications have shown positive results in other countries.

    The US should be allowing us to use those medicines.

    The fact that there are so few alternative medications available in the US brings to question the validity of the virus.

    The more restrictions, the more questions arise.

    • “The US should be allowing us to use those medicines.”

      In what world do you live? What medications does the US not allow????? We have people taking de-worming medication and anti-malarial medication legally in the good ol’ USA for a virus for which they are NOT prescribed, and yet they can get them from doctors or veterinary supply stores! The reason they are not being promoted is simply that it is bad science, i.e. a hoax. But, help yourself. They are not PROscribed.

      “The more restrictions, the more questions arise.”
      Questions do arise, but if I raise them in this post, I fear the good editor will not post such inflammatory words.

  6. Sad no one argues what our right to be safe are. Supported by the constitution On Lincoln’s memorial wall it reads correctly that he and we as a people respect everyone’s individual right but.. as long as that rights does not interfere with the rights of others. Not taking a safe Vax interferes with those that want to be safe, pursue happiness etc. thus the reason all should take the Vax. As infringes on the majority’s individual rights. As Christian you can read in Matthew 22. Love they neighbor. Time to care for each other

  7. You argue reason AND compassion. “Love thy neighbor” became a meme after the year nought. How real is that and how everlasting? We shall see.

Leave a Reply