Omicron in Alberta: No cases yet, government and health officials to talk new COVID-19 variant Monday

EDMONTON –

Alberta’s top doctor says her department is contacting people who’ve recently arrived from one of the southern Africa countries of interest for the Omicron COVID-19 variant and they must quarantine for two weeks.

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw issued the statement Sunday evening after Ontario announced Canada’s first cases of the B.1.1.529 strain.

In a series of tweets, she said Alberta Health was working with its counterparts across the country and Alberta Health Services on a “proactive plan to manage any future travel-related and Omicron cases here in Alberta.”

Hinshaw noted twice the province has not confirmed any Omicron cases itself. 

She, Premier Jason Kenney, Health Minister Jason Copping and AHS CEO Dr. Verna Yiu will take questions about the Omicron strain on Monday at 3:30 p.m. Watch the news conference live on CTVNewsEdmonton.ca. 

Hinshaw did not say how many people in Alberta had returned from the countries of interest. 

If they arrived in the past 14 days, they must quarantine for two weeks from their return date and get tested again. 

The federal government announced enhanced border measures for the region  — including South Africa, Eswatini, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia — on Nov. 26. 

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