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U.S. reports 1st case of omicron variant in returning traveler

The U.S identified its first confirmed case of the omicron variant Wednesday in a vaccinated traveler returning to California from a trip to South Africa. The finding was announced by National Institutes of Health director Dr. Anthony Fauci at the White House.

“We knew it was just a matter of time before the first case of omicron would be detected in the United States,” he said.

The case is reportedly mild, California officials said, and the traveler is steadily improving after developing mild symptoms Nov. 22. They were fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine but was not yet due for a booster shot.

Fauci said this points to the earlier suspicion that the omicron variant is still susceptible to current vaccines, and recommends all U.S. residents get fully vaccinated and receive a booster shot when eligible. But questions regarding how contagious this variant is are still unanswered.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 1,099 total cases of COVID-19 Dec. 2 with 657 confirmed. A total of 36 deaths were also reported, with 33 confirmed.

With 17,104 tests reported Monday, 5.4% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents age 12+ with at least one vaccine: 63.1%
Percentage of of S.C. residents age 12+ who have completed vaccination: 55.0%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 with at least one vaccine: 7.4%
Percentage of S.C. residents age 5-11 who have completed vaccination: 1.1%