First case of omicron variant COVID-19 confirmed in Alberta, according to Hinshaw – .

First case of omicron variant COVID-19 confirmed in Alberta, according to Hinshaw – .

The first case of the omicron variant in Alberta was confirmed in a traveler who returned to the province of Nigeria and the Netherlands.
“I report that we now have a confirmed case of the omicron variant in Alberta,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“This case was confirmed in a traveler returning from Nigeria and the Netherlands.

“The individual tested positive despite being asymptomatic and I can confirm that this individual has not left quarantine since arriving from an international trip. “

Hinshaw said household members have been informed and measures are in place to prevent transmission, she said.

“I don’t want Albertans to be alarmed. As i mentioned [Monday], we anticipated the arrival of this variant in the province based on what we have seen from previous strains of COVID-19, ”she said.

“We were well prepared for this eventuality. “

Alberta had already stepped up tracing and testing of identified COVID-19 cases in all returning international travelers in an effort to stay ahead of the variant in the province.

She said the person, who had traveled alone, returned to Alberta about a week ago and was tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.

Hinshaw said there is usually a delay between an initial positive test and a follow-up test for variants.

Omicron, a strain that may be more infectious than previous versions of the coronavirus, was declared a variant of concern by the World Health Organization last week.

The Canadian government has already banned travelers from a number of southern African countries in an attempt to contain the spread.

Alberta is monitoring 156 travelers who have returned from these banned countries in the past two weeks. Travelers were contacted over the weekend, briefed on testing and isolation rules and offered test kits.

No time to lift all meeting restrictions, says Hinshaw

The province’s current health restrictions are not tightened due to the single omicron case – but now is not a good time to ease collection restrictions, Hinshaw said on Tuesday.

Currently, private indoor social gatherings are limited to two households up to a maximum of 10 vaccinated people eligible for the vaccine, with no restrictions for children under 12.

On Monday, Premier Jason Kenney said the province may consider easing collection restrictions as the Christmas break approaches, noting the steady decline in intensive care admissions.

“So if this continues, and if we don’t see alarming evidence of omicron’s serious results, we’ll be looking at some sort of potential modest loosening of rallies, primarily because we’re concerned about compliance,” Kenney said.

“We want to make sure that the rules in place are rules that the majority of people will follow. So we’re balancing all of these things right now – we haven’t made any decisions – but as long as the pressure for intensive care continues to ease, we may be able to consider something as we get closer to the holidays. . “

Asked about Kenney’s remarks, Hinshaw said officials continually assess the impact of the restrictions on public health, mental health and social isolation.

Current protocols have worked to curb the spread of the virus, she said.

“I don’t think this is the right time to completely lift all of our indoor social gathering restrictions,” she said.

“So whether or not there is relaxation, I don’t think this is the time to turn them all off. “

The number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Alberta has declined.

Hinshaw said Tuesday that 238 new cases had been reported in the past 24 hours.

The new cases were detected after 5,400 tests and the positivity rate was 4.5%, she said.

Across the province, there are 4,545 active cases of COVID-19. Here is how they are broken down by region:

  • Calgary area: 1,761
  • Zone d’Edmonton : 1 107
  • North zone: 753
  • Central areas: 591
  • South zone: 330
  • Unknown: 3

As of Tuesday, there were 434 people with the disease in Alberta hospitals, including 81 in intensive care, Hinshaw said.

Six new deaths have been reported to Alberta Health in the past 24 hours, she said.

A total of 3,248 Albertans have died since the start of the pandemic.


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