156 travelers monitored for omicron variant, according to Alberta premier – .

Alberta vaccine passport to be in place next year, says Kenney – .

Alberta has identified 156 travelers who have returned in the past two weeks from countries in South Africa where the omicron variant of the novel coronavirus has been detected, Premier Jason Kenney said on Monday.
“These travelers were contacted over the weekend with information on current protocols, including testing and quarantine requirements,” Kenney said at a press conference.

“These travelers and their households were also offered domestic rapid test kits in addition to PCR tests. “

No cases of the omicron variant have been detected in the province, Kenney said, “but we are working with these people to reduce any risk of spread.”

On Friday, the Canadian government announced that foreign nationals who had traveled to South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini or Mozambique in the previous 14 days would be banned from entering the country. .

Two cases of the omicron variant have been identified in Ontario and one in Quebec.

“It will be a while before we know exactly how the omicron will perform, but we are much better prepared for the omicron than any variant before it,” said Kenney.

“So while this news is, I know, frustrating for all of us, omicron shouldn’t bring people to despair.

“We have demonstrated great resilience and with extensive vaccine coverage, along with new treatments from trials and better medical information on how to treat COVID 19, we have reason to believe that we can overcome them. challenges ahead.

“I know no one wants to hear news like this, especially since our friends in the Jewish community have just started celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas is just around the corner, but I ask Albertans to remain patient and vigilant. as we learn more about this emerging variant. “

Kenney was joined by Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Chief Medical Officer of Health for Alberta, Minister of Health Jason Copping and Dr. Verna Yiu, President and CEO of Alberta Health Services.

Hinshaw said on Twitter on Sunday that there were no confirmed cases of omicron in Alberta.

She added that Alberta public health officials are working with colleagues across the country to monitor the omicron situation.

Hinshaw said public health officials have contacted people in Alberta who have traveled from one of the countries of interest in the past 14 days. These people are required to quarantine themselves for 14 days from their return date and get tested, she added.

Hinshaw said she was working with Alberta Health Services “on a proactive level to handle all future travel and omicron-related cases here in Alberta.”


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