SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California health officials say the highly contagious omicron variant is evident in 50% to 70% of new coronavirus cases in parts of the most populous state heading into the holidays as California is on the precipice of recording 5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. Omicron has become the most common form of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for 73% of all cases. The U.S. recorded its first confirmed omicron infection just three weeks ago in a San Francisco resident who had recently traveled to South Africa. On Friday, the state had 4,990,016 confirmed cases to date and more than 75,000 deaths. Case reporting is expected to lag because of the holidays.