These provinces have confirmed cases of the Omicron variant
The latest COVID-19 variant – dubbed “Omicron” – is spreading around the world, which has experts and governments on heightened alert.
While more research is needed to uncover just how transmissible and vaccine resistant the Omicron variant may be, researchers have raised concerns due to the more than 30 mutations to the spike proteins that cause infections in humans.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Canada has reported seven confirmed cases of the Omicron variant and has since banned travel into the country from a host of African nations, including South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt.
Here is where cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in Canada:
BRITISH COLUMBIA (1)
On Tuesday, B.C. health officials announced its first confirmed case of the Omicron variant.
The individual lives in the Fraser Health region, which represents parts of B.C. south of Vancouver.
The patient had recently returned from Nigeria and is currently in isolation.
Alberta also reported its first case of the Omicron variant on Tuesday.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, told reporters that the person had returned from travelling in Nigeria and the Netherlands.
"The individual tested positive while asymptomatic and I can confirm the individual has not left quarantine since their arrival from international travel,” Hinshaw said.
Ontario health officials announced the province’s fifth and sixth cases of the Omicron variant on Thursday.
The fifth case is the first in the Greater Toronto Area. The individual is a close contact of someone who had returned from southern Africa.
The sixth lab-confirmed case was reported in the Halton region and is connected to someone who had recently travelled to Nigeria and is probable for the variant.
There is also another probable case in the region who’s connected to the traveller.
The four previous cases had all been reported in the Ottawa area. The first two Ottawa residents with Omicron, confirmed on Sunday, had travelled to Nigeria and arrived through Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport.
It is not clear how the other two cases had come in contact with the virus.
The province is also investigating two people in Hamilton who have tested positive for COVID-19 and have met the criteria for an Omicron infection, but are awaiting genomic sequencing results.
Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore told reporters on Thursday that the province is expecting to report new cases of the variant in the near future.
Quebec reported its first and only case of the Omicron variant on Monday.
The woman had recently travelled to Nigeria, but the province could not release any more details due to privacy concerns.