Durham Region detects its 1st confirmed case of Omicron variant

Durham Region Health Department says they have confirmed one case of the Omicron variant from a close contact of a returning traveller from a country in southern Africa.

“The Health Department is also monitoring other COVID-19 cases under investigation for the Omicron variant based on travel history and working with the province to monitor COVID-19 variants of concern including Delta and Omicron,” the local public health unit said.

It also said it would not reveal any more information about the confirmed case.

Read more: 4 Omicron cases confirmed in Ottawa, others under investigation in Ontario

Earlier this week, several other COVID-19 cases of the Omicron variant were detected including some in the Ottawa and Hamilton areas.

The variant of concern was recently declared as the fifth variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) since the pandemic began.

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Health officials are still unclear if Omicron is more transmissible but WHO said it would have more data “within days.”

The federal government has recently imposed travel bans to several affected countries in southern Africa including Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Travellers from these areas are not permitted entry to Canada.

“While this new variant is no reason for alarm, it is important to remain vigilant and continue to follow public health measures that have proven to be effective throughout the pandemic,” Durham Region’s medical officer of health Dr. Robert Kyle said.

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