Confirmed omicron cases in California linked to Wisconsin wedding

Posted at 8:48 AM, Dec 06, 2021

MILWAUKEE — Five mildly symptomatic COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant found in Alameda County, California, have been linked to a wedding in Milwaukee County.

A health department in California initially announced Friday evening, writing that the outbreak was connected to a wedding in Wisconsin.

Shortly afterward, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services confirmedthat the wedding happened in Milwaukee County on Nov. 27.

DHS said the City of Milwaukee Health Department is investigating with the DHS.

The DHS says that no Omicron cases among Wisconsin residents have been identified, but the investigation continues.

In California, a state lab used genomic sequencing to identify 12 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alameda County to that wedding. Of those cases, five cases involve the omicron variant. One of the infected people attended the wedding upon return from international travel.

All 12 people were vaccinated, most had received booster shots, and no one has been hospitalized. All experienced mild symptoms, the health departments said. All are between the ages of 18-49 years old.

DHS and the City of Milwaukee Health Department are now reaching out to all Wisconsin residents who were close contacts, and isolation and quarantine protocols are being followed.

“Although the news that this variant is continuing to spread throughout the country is concerning, it should not be a cause for panic. We know COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing serious illness and death,” said DHS Secretary-designee Karen Timberlake in the statement. "That’s why it’s critical that all eligible Wisconsinites get vaccinated or get their booster as soon as possible and follow public health best practices to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe.”

The first case of the omicron variant has yet to be confirmed in Wisconsin, but this may change soon as health officials track the California-Wisconsin connection and as the variant spreads across the country.v

This story was first reported by staff at TMJ4.