COVID-19: Health officials confirm 95 cases of Omicron in Montreal, expect more to come – Global News

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Health officials in Montreal provided an update on the Omicron COVID-19 variant Wednesday, where cases of community transmission of the variant have been reported.
“This is not the place we expected to be two weeks before the holidays,” said the city’s public health director, Dr. Mylene Drouin, during a media briefing. “I ask the population to be more agile and come together with the safety measures to delay the Omicron variant replacing the Delta variant. We are still in the Delta variant phase.”
Health officials say there were 844 new COVID cases in Montreal, and they are expecting that figure to go higher within the next few days, with about 10,000 people in the city being tested daily. There have also been five new deaths.
Read more: Omicron: How does it compare with other COVID-19 variants of concern?
Health officials said there are 95 cases of the Omicron variant in Montreal as of now which 90 per cent of Omicron cases are fully vaccinated people. The variant has not yet been linked to any hospitalizations or deaths.
In order to flatten the curve, parents of children between the ages of five and 11 are urged to get them vaccinated. Vaccinations are still being administered in schools, and parents can bring their children to vaccination clinics to receive their doses.
“Vaccination and rapid testing for the population is still key, as well as applying the basic measures such as wearing a mask, staying two meters apart, washing your hands and ventilation,” said Dr. Drouin.
Currently, 40 per cent of children from that age bracket are vaccinated in Montreal, but the number could be better added Dr. Sonia Belanger. It is recommended she said for people over the age of 70, as well as health care workers, those with chronic illnesses, and pregnant women, to schedule their booster, or third, COVID-19 vaccine dose.
Read more: Omicron COVID-19 variant poses ‘very high’ global risk, WHO warns
As of Wednesday, 81 per cent of the population in Montreal is vaccinated with both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
People are also encouraged to not gather in groups at clinics or hospitals for rapid testing, and to only go for testing if they do have any symptoms or were in contact with someone who tested positive.
“Many people are going to get tested so they can gather with others as a precaution and that is not what the use of rapid testing is about,” said Dr. Belanger.
People are being urged to reconsider their holiday plans, including cancelling some gatherings or celebrations. University or college parties, pre-holiday get-togethers with friends and family, and work holiday parties are just a few examples cited by public health. “The last thing we want is to impose a new lockdown, as we know what repercussions this may cause,” said Dr. Drouin.
Health officials are trying to use every tool at their disposal to slow the spread of COVID-19 which again includes, vaccines, rapid testing and of course on going sanitary measures.
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