Santa Barbara County Reports First Four Cases of Omicron Variant.
SANTA BARBARA – The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department said it identified the county’s first cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
The public health department said four cases were recently identified in southern Santa Barbara County.
All four people are under 30 years old, public health officials said. One person was vaccinated with two doses and the other three were completely unvaccinated.
Contact tracing is underway and close contacts have been asked to self-quarantine, the public health department said.
“The detection of these four Omicron cases validates our sense of urgency about vaccination and boosters in our local community,” said Van Do-Reynoso, Santa Barbara County Director of Public Health. “Given the prevalence of Omicron cases across the country and California, the variant can be expected to be circulating in Santa Barbara County. However, these four cases are the first confirmed from sampling.”
The public health department said that COVID-19 vaccines have been effective against previous variants of the virus and appear to be effective against Omicron as well.
“Vaccination and boosters for every eligible community member remain the number one tool we have to stop the spread of this virus and prevent serious illness in those who contract COVID-19,” said Do-Reynoso.
Community members are encouraged to get tested if they traveled internationally or to places within the country with high transmission rates. You are also encouraged to get tested if you attended a crowded meeting with unvaccinated people, public health said. Those who test positive should be isolated, regardless of vaccine status.
To find a COVID-19 vaccination site in Santa Barbara County, Click here. The public health department also recommends that people purchase COVID-19 tests at home if they cannot get tested right away.