8 new Omicron cases detected in Alberta, schools may have been exposed

More cases of people with the COVID-19 Omicron variant have been detected in Alberta.

On Monday morning, chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw tweeted eight new cases have been found — all from returning travellers.

She added the variant may have been exposed in an elementary school and high school in the North Zone.

Read more: Alberta records 349 new COVID-19 cases, 1 additional coronavirus death

“Some household members of these cases have tested positive for COVID but have not yet been confirmed as Omicron,” Hinshaw wrote. “Out of an abundance of caution, we have notified the schools.”

“The schools will notify any potentially exposed groups and additional testing is being recommended,” the chief medical officer said, noting anyone with COVID-19 symptoms must isolate and be tested through Alberta Health Services.

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She also said those schools will be receiving rapid tests to distribute to the student body.

All of the new cases are isolating and “appropriate public health follow-up is underway” according to Hinshaw.

Click to play video: 'COVID-19: Omicron cases continue to be reported across Canada' COVID-19: Omicron cases continue to be reported across Canada

COVID-19: Omicron cases continue to be reported across Canada

“Finding additional cases is not unexpected, and identifying these cases early is a testament to the work of our public health lab and front-line public health teams. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and keep Albertans updated.”

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As of Friday, three provinces had reported detection of the Omicron variant.

On Sunday, U.S. health officials said at least 16 states had detected dozens of cases of the new variant that is suspected to be more transmissible than Delta.

–with files from Reuters

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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