The COVID-19 Omicron variant has been detected in Santa Barbara County for the first time.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department on Wednesday reported four confirmed cases of the variant.
Health officials say all four cases were in people under the age of 30.
At least one was a breakthrough case, according to Public Health. That person had received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine. There are no records that the other three positive cases had received a vaccine.
"Given the prevalence of Omicron cases throughout the nation and California, we can expect that the variant is circulating in Santa Barbara County. However, these four cases are the first confirmed from sampling," said Van Do-Reynoso, Santa Barbara County Public Health Director.
Health officials say close contacts of the four positive cases have been asked to quarantine and additional contact tracing efforts are underway.
Officials continue to encourage local residents to get vaccinated and tested for COVID-19.
"The detection of these four Omicron cases validates our sense of urgency about vaccination and boosters in our local community," Do-Reynoso said. "Vaccination and boosters for every eligible community member continues to be the number one tool we have to stop the spread of this virus and prevent serious illness in those who do get COVID-19."
Free coronavirus testing is available to the public at sites in Santa Maria, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, and Goleta. Click here to register for an appointment.
For more information on Santa Barbara County's coronavirus response, visit publichealthsbc.org.