Toronto Public Health (TPH) is currently investigating the cases of three Toronto residents who have tested positive for the Omicron variant of concern, also known as the B.1.1.529. Two individuals recently returned from travel from Nigeria, while another individual recently returned from Switzerland. These are the first cases of the Omicron variant of concern which have been confirmed by whole genome sequencing, reported in Toronto.
TPH’s case and contact management team is currently following up with these cases and is providing instructions to identified close contacts on isolation and testing. TPH continues to work closely with the provincial and federal counterparts as more information and data emerges on this new variant.
While scientific data is limited at this time, scientists and health professionals are carefully monitoring the emergence of the new Omicron variant as early data suggests that the variant may be more transmissible.
Community members are asked to seek testing immediately, if they have any cold or flu-like symptoms, or if they have returned from, or travelled to South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Egypt, Nigeria or Malawi between November 1 and December 6, 2021. Asymptomatic family members and other household contacts are also eligible for testing. Find the closest location to get tested.
Given the emergence of this new variant and the ongoing transmission of the Delta variant, it is more important than ever to seek vaccination if you have not done so already. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will lower the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death, while protecting yourself, loved ones and your community from getting sick. If you are eligible for a third dose, please book an appointment today to ensure you have an extra layer of protection from COVID-19, as we head into the colder months. Find out if you are eligible for the booster shot on the City’ COVID-19: How to Get Vaccinated page.
As the vaccination campaign progresses, residents are also urged to continue to follow public health measures such as mask wearing, good hand hygiene, physical distancing and staying at home if you are sick.
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