Ontario Reports Two More Cases of Omicron Coronavirus Variant in Toronto Area – .

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Ontario Reports Fifth Case of Omicron Coronavirus Variant in Durham Region – .


Two Toronto-area health units reported the fifth and sixth cases of the Omicron variant coronavirus in Ontario on Thursday.

The two new cases were detected in Durham Region and Halton Region.

Durham Region Public Health said the Omicron positive person is a close contact of someone recently returned to Canada from southern Africa.

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

It is not clear whether Durham’s case is the same one linked to an outbreak at the East Toronto Detention Center.

Toronto Public Health (TPH) said Durham health officials were investigating the case of the Omicron variant at Scarborough Prison. However, when questioned about the case, Durham officials did not provide further details of their investigation, citing privacy concerns.

TPH said a staff member at the facility tested the Omicron variant, prompting the declaration of a COVID-19 outbreak “out of caution.”

TPH added that four inmates tested positive for the virus on Thursday afternoon, but it is not yet confirmed whether the cases are of the Omicron variant.

Meanwhile, Halton Public Health reported Thursday afternoon that it has one confirmed case and two probable cases of the variant.

The health unit said one of the suspected cases had returned from a trip to Nigeria and was close contact with the other two. All three are isolated at home. Halton Public Health added that all close contacts have been identified and asked to self-isolate and get tested.

“We continue to monitor the situation closely and I urge all residents to be vigilant given the entry of the Omicron variant into our community,” said Dr Hamidah Meghani, the region’s medical officer of health, in a statement. communicated.

“I encourage all residents to continue to follow all public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and for all eligible people, to receive their two doses of vaccine as soon as possible. “

Earlier this week, Ontario officials confirmed four more cases of the Omicron variant in Ottawa and said nearly 400 people who returned to Ontario from southern Africa in the past two weeks were in mandatory self-quarantine.

The two new cases represent the first known examples of local transmission of the Omicron variant (B.1.1.529) confirmed in the province to date.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr Kieran Moore said there are now 1,800 people under mandatory self-isolation who have recently arrived in Canada from one of ten African countries where the Trudeau government has now banned to all foreigners to arrive.

He said it was only a matter of time before more cases were detected in the province.

The province is now preparing to perform full genomic sequencing on all COVID-19 positive samples and the federal government has adopted several new measures to tighten controls on international travel.

Moore said the province is also resurrecting adjustments to the standard COVID-19 PCR test so that it can detect the S-Gene deletion present in most of the Omicron samples collected.

S-Gene suppression or S-Gene target failure was used across the province to track the spread of the Alpha coronavirus variant (B.1.1.7) in early 2021.

Moore said the arrival of Omicron adds new haste to the province’s ongoing third-dose campaign, now reduced to anyone aged 50 and over.

“When Delta passed Alpha, it took 4 months for that to happen – we could have a shorter window for Omicron given that it’s more transmissible,” he said.

He said it was still not clear whether existing vaccines would provide a high degree of protection against serious illnesses caused by Omicron.

“We don’t expect a 100% loss in vaccine efficacy,” he said.

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