Omicron outbreak among Bay Area Kaiser staff linked to Wisconsin wedding


An outbreak of COVID-19 believed to be among the first confirmed cases of the omicron variant in the East Bay was tied to a wedding in Wisconsin, officials say.

Of the 12 confirmed cases reported by Alameda County, 11 were staff members at Kaiser Permanente’s Oakland Medical Center, all of whom were in attendance at the wedding. The news was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle. (SFGATE and the Chronicle are both owned by Hearst but operate independently of one another.)

The first case, from a staff member at the Oakland Medical Center, was reported Nov. 30 — and by the end of the week, Alameda County public health officials confirmed the 12 cases, a vast majority of which were believed to be the omicron variant, according to a statement from Kaiser Permanente. Dr. Nicholas Moss, Alameda County’s health officer, told the Chronicle that at least six of these cases are confirmed to be the omicron variant.

All 12 individuals, according to a statement from Alameda County Public Health Department and the city of Berkeley, were between the ages of 18 to 49 and were fully vaccinated. All 11 of the Kaiser employees received boosters.

All 12 are residents of Oakland, with the exception of one, who lives in Berkeley.

Kaiser confirmed in a statement to SFGATE that 16 other individuals were potentially exposed to COVID-19 — eight staff and eight patients. So far, 13 have tested negative.

Fortunately, all 12 individuals are only experiencing mild symptoms, according to Alameda County and Berkeley health officials, and are quarantining at home.

The cases are still under investigation by Alameda County, the city of Berkeley and the California Department of Public Health.



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