This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) scientist was preparing to test a patient’s sample for SARS-CoV-2, using the CDC 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time Reverse Transcriptase (RT)–PCR Diagnostic Panel. (James Gathany/CDC 2020)

Following holiday celebrations and gatherings, San Joaquin County’s COVID-19 cases are on the rise, county health officials said.

On Dec 29, the county’s testing positivity rate out of 100,000 people was at 8.7 percent and has risen to 12.5 percent per 100,000 people as of Monday.

Public health officials reported 12 new deaths in the county between Dec. 29 and Monday, and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 rose from 92 to 98 in that same time period.

Among the residents testing positive for the virus, some contracted the omicron variant. Public health officials announced on Dec. 28 that the county had identified two cases of the omicron variant in vaccinated people.

According to public health officials, both individuals were fully vaccinated but had not received their booster shots.

“With its fast transmission rates, we anticipated the omicron variant appearing locally,” county Public Health Officer Maggie Park said. “That’s why we continue to encourage anyone who’s eligible to get vaccinated and get a booster.”