The California and San Francisco Departments of Public Health announced that a recent case of COVID-19 in California was caused by the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529), which the World Health Organization (WHO) classified as a variant of concern.
A growing body of evidence suggests that the Omicron variant is spreading more rapidly than other variants. Much remains unknown about the Omicron variant currently, such as the severity of this variant or how it might impact response to treatment.
As we continue our fight against COVID-19, we recognize that the virus is continually evolving, and that the emergence of new variants is to be expected. SFDPH is in contact with state and federal partner agencies that are monitoring the spread of the virus and its variants to understand the potential impact on our local communities and to inform our public health response.
“This is a cause for concern, but it is also certainly not a cause for panic. We are prepared for this in the city.” – Dr. Grant Colfax, San Francisco Director of Public Health
In the meantime, we continue to recommend all of the same common-sense prevention and health safety measures that people have become familiar with throughout the pandemic, including:
- Getting vaccinated and boosted to protect you and those you love
- Wearing masks in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status
- Getting tested* if you are feeling any symptoms, regardless of your vaccination status
- Consider getting tested within 72 hours before you travel or gather with others as you may have an asymptomatic infection. You can use an FDA-approved rapid at-home, self-test kit, reach out to your health service provider, a travel testing provider, or to receive a test, go to: sf.gov/gettested
- Staying home if you are feeling sick