Dr. Kieran Moore provided an update about the new variant recently found in the country.
Ontario is now investigating four other possible cases of the Omicron variant, a day after the news that the new COVID-19 variant first appeared in Canada.
On November 28, the Ontario government confirmed two cases of the Omicron variant were found in Ottawa, both following recent travel from Nigeria.
In a press conference on November 29, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore shared that there are others who are potentially infected.
"Four other individuals [are] waiting for whole-genome sequencing results," Dr. Moore shared. "Two are in Ottawa, two in the Hamilton area."
Ontario's top doctor adds that they are also reaching out to the other 375 returning travellers from one of seven countries and making sure that they've been tested. According to the provincial government in their announcement on Sunday, these countries include South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.
When it comes to whether or not the province's current public health measures will have to be changed, Dr. Moore says he doesn't foresee Ontario having to take any steps back at the moment.
"If it's a less lethal virus, less impact on the hospital sector, and our vaccines can continue to work against it we will continue our current strategy and not have to have any further public health restrictions," Dr. Moore says.
"I don't have a complete crystal ball but we will have greater clarity in the coming weeks of how as a province we would have to respond to this new threat. I do want us all to remain calm."
According to the World Health Organization, the Omicron variant was first found by South African officials last week on November 24. Now, just a few days later, the WHO is calling it a variant of concern on its global watch list. So far no deaths have been tied to the Omicron variant.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
In Ontario, a vaccine passport is required to access some events, services and businesses, including restaurants and bars.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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