A Case Of The Omicron Variant Has Just Been Reported In The GTA

The person was in close contact with a traveller coming back from southern Africa.

A Case Of The Omicron Variant Has Just Been Reported In The GTA

Durham Region Health Department has announced that one person has tested positive for the COVID-19 Omicron variant on Thursday.

Health officials say the person was in "close contact" with another individual who had recently travelled back from "one of the identified countries in southern Africa," according to a press release.

Other COVID-19 cases in the region are also being investigated for the Omicron variant due to "travel history."

Ontario has had a handful of Omicron variant cases so far, with at least four reported cases in Ottawa and other possible cases in Hamilton.

Durham Region Health emphasized that all close contact of individuals with COVID-19 are followed up with. However, additional details on specific COVID-19 cases cannot be disclosed due to privacy.

"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," said Dr. Robert Kyle, Durham Region medical officer of health.

Canada has tightened its borders, adding testing and other precautions in response to the new variant, which was discovered in South Africa.

Foreign nationals who have visited certain countries in Africa, including Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe within 14 days of travelling to Canada are not allowed in the country, according to the Canadian government.

People flying to Canada outside of the United States will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival at the airport regardless of their vaccination status, along with other precautionary measures.

Durham Region Health is reminding "everyone that vaccination continues to be the best defence in the fight against COVID-19" and that "eligible residents are encouraged to get their third dose as soon as possible for the added layer of protection."

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

Brooke Houghton
Brooke Houghton is a contributing writer for Narcity Media based in Toronto, Ontario.