The first confirmed case of the Omicron variant has been detected in San Luis Obispo County, officials announced Friday.

County Public Health will not release the resident’s personal information, such as age and gender, to protect their identity, according to the news release.

As a highly infectious variant, health officials express concerns and recommend residents, regardless of vaccination status, to follow the indoor mask mandate that California reinstated on Monday.

As of Friday, San Luis Obispo County has reported 31,192 confirmed COVID-19 cases with 15 residents hospitalized and four in the ICU. The Delta variant remains the leading contributor to the county’s COVID-19 cases.

“Until we know more about the Omicron variant, I strongly encourage our community members to stay calm, remain vigilant, and use the tools and resources we have at our disposal to protect yourself, your families, and our community,” County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said. 

The county also reported three new deaths due to the virus, the ages ranging from their 30s to 70s. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 370 people in the county have died from coronavirus.

Borenstein said it was “only a matter of time” before the Omicron variant found its way into the county.

“We want to reassure our community that we have a strong surveillance system in place to identify any future cases of COVID-19 that carry the Omnicron variant,” Borenstein said in the news release. 

Borenstein said community members should wear masks, get vaccinated, receive the booster shot and get tested if experiencing symptoms or COVID-19 exposure in order to reduce transmission.

Free coronavirus testing is open to the public can be found here. To schedule an appointment for a vaccination, resources can be found at https://myturn.ca.gov/.  

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