Durham Region Health Department has confirmed an individual tested positive test for the COVID-19 Omicron variant.
According to the health department, the case is a close contact of a returning traveller from one of the identified countries in southern Africa.
“The Health Department is also monitoring other COVID-19 cases under investigation for the Omicron variant based on travel history and working with the province to monitor COVID-19 variants of concern including Delta and Omicron,” they state in a release.
“The Health Department follows-up directly with all individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 and their close contacts.”
The health department added that to protect the privacy of all individuals, it cannot disclose additional information about any case of COVID-19.
“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.
They ask residents to practice physical distancing where possible, wear a mask when physical distancing is a challenge, practise proper hand hygiene, consider safety when gathering with friends and family, and continue to screen themselves and their children for symptoms COVID-19.
“The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa. As the impacts of this new variant are being evaluated worldwide and as a precautionary measure, the government of Canada has introduced enhanced border measures,” it states.
Those who have travelled to the southern African region, including Botswana, Egypt, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe, are not permitted entry to Canada.
And soon, all fully vaccinated travellers arriving by air from departure points other than the US will be subject to arrival testing.
Additionally, fully vaccinated travellers will be required to quarantine while they await the results of their arrival test. Unvaccinated travellers will continue to be tested on arrival, day eight post arrival, and quarantine for 14 days.