General News » Headline News » News

Omicron variant likely associated with household cluster

December 16, 2021   ·   0 Comments

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit is investigating a household cluster in Simcoe County with seven confirmed cases of COVID-19 that have a strong probability of being the Omicron variant.

The cluster is linked to travellers who arrived in Simcoe County from Nigeria in late November.

Everyone with the virus is currently isolating at home.

Although the Health Unit is awaiting whole genomic sequencing of the samples taken, given the travel history and the preliminary laboratory screening results, the likelihood of an Omicron cluster is very high.

Results of the samples should be available in the next seven to 14 days.

“Scientific data about the Omicron variant is still emerging,” said Dr. Charles Gardner, Medical Officer of Health. “Early evidence suggests that the variant might be more transmissible. While we continue to closely monitor this local situation, I urge all residents to remain vigilant about following public health measures, to monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing immediately if any should develop, and to get vaccinated if you have not already done so.”

The rate of COVID-19 infection among the unvaccinated vaccine-eligible Simcoe Muskoka population is seven times higher than it is for the fully vaccinated population and the rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations is 15 times higher.

Getting the vaccine can lower the risk of serious illness, hospitalization, and death. Residents who are eligible for a first, second, third or booster dose, are encouraged to book their appointment as soon as possible as it is the most important layer of protection. COVID-19 vaccinations are available to eligible residents through a variety of options, including community clinics, participating pharmacies, some primary care providers, and family health teams, and the GOVAXX Bus.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


Readers Comments (0)

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Page Reader Press Enter to Read Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Pause or Restart Reading Page Content Out Loud Press Enter to Stop Reading Page Content Out Loud Screen Reader Support