Overall, clinical and wastewater data indicate that Omicron cases are present in most regions of the state indicating that there is likely community transmission. Mutations consistent with Omicron variant have been detected at increasing proportions in wastewater in multiple regions throughout California where wastewater surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 is conducted. At least three health systems in California have reported approximately 50-70% of COVID-19 cases are consistent with Omicron (full sequencing results are pending). This is consistent with CDC reports of estimates of at least 70% of cases nationally. Additionally, genetic sequencing does not represent real-time data, as sequencing generally occurs several days or more after initial tests are positive for COVID-19.
The emergence of the Omicron variant emphasizes the importance of getting a vaccine, booster and taking prevention efforts needed to protect against COVID-19. For more information about Omicron and the other variants California is currently monitoring, see the variant data webpage (please note, this data is as of December 22, 2021) and the Omicron variant fact sheet.
Slow the Spread: Get Vaccinated and Boosted for COVID-19
The risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection continues as a number of Californians remain unvaccinated. Real-world evidence continues to show that the vaccine is preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death. With the combination of colder weather keeping people indoors, the waning of vaccine and natural immunity, and more mingling among non-household members, public health officials urge Californians to get vaccinated and boosted as soon as possible to help prevent a possible winter surge in COVID-19 cases.
It is recommended that every vaccinated adult 18 years or older should get a booster as long as they received their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago or they received their Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least two months ago.
Vaccination appointments can be made by visiting the MyTurn website (myturn.ca.gov) or calling 1-833-422-4255. The consent of a parent or legal guardian may be needed for those under age 18 to receive a vaccination. Visit Vaccinate All 58 to learn more about the safe and effective vaccines available for all Californians 5+.
Your Actions Save Lives
Protect yourself, family, friends and your community by following these prevention measures:
Celebrate safely: Take commonsense steps this holiday season to protect yourself, your family and your community as you celebrate the holiday season.
Wear your mask: CDPH requires masks to be worn in all indoor public settings irrespective of vaccine status through January 15, 2022, at which point California will make further recommendations as needed in response to the pandemic.
Upgrade your mask: Good fit and filtration continue to be the best way to get the most out of your mask. The best masks for preventing COVID-19 include the N95, KN95 and KF94. If you don't have access to one of these masks, wear a surgical mask or a surgical mask with a cloth mask on top. If you choose a fabric mask, opt for one with three of more cloth layers. No matter what kind of mask you wear, check the fit by avoiding gaps above the nose or on the sides.
Get vaccinated for COVID-19 and flu: It's your turn now! It's recommended for everyone over six months of age to be vaccinated for the flu. For COVID-19, Californians age 5+ are eligible to make appointments or go to a walk-in site for vaccination. You can get your flu and COVID-19 vaccines on the same day.
My Vaccine Record is an easy way to show vaccination status at venues or businesses that require proof of vaccination. Visit the Digital COVID-19 Vaccine Record website (myvaccinerecord.cdph.ca.gov) today to get your vaccine record.
Stay Home & Get Tested if Sick: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, muscle or body aches), or believe you have been exposed, get tested, call your health care provider, and stay home and away from others. Free, confidential testing is available statewide. Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home from work and school if you feel ill.
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Travel tips: Delay travel (both domestic and international) until you are fully vaccinated. See the CDC's full travel guidance. If you decide to travel, it is recommended that all travelers arriving in California test for COVID-19 within three to five days after arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.
Avoid crowded venues or areas when cases are high. CDPH has updated requirements for attending mega events, like concerts and sporting events. Prior to attending an event, attendees will now be required to provide either proof of vaccination, a negative antigen COVID-19 test within one day of the event, or a negative PCR test within two days of the event.
Add your phone to the fight: Sign up for COVID-19 exposure notifications from CA Notify.
Answer the call or text if a contact tracer from the CA COVID Team or your local health department tries to connect.
Check with your local health department about local conditions. Local health jurisdictions can implement protocols that are stricter than state guidance.
Tracking COVID-19 in California
Testing Turnaround Time
The testing turnaround time dashboard reports how long California patients are waiting for COVID-19 test results. During the week of December 12 to December 18, the average time patients waited for test results was one day. During this same time period, 85% of patients received test results in one day and 96% received them within two days.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C)