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COVID-19: More Omicron cases emerge in Ontario amid Delta-driven surge

TORONTO – More cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 were detected at various public health units in the Toronto area on Friday, as Ontario recorded its highest number of daily cases in six months.

There were 1,031 new COVID-19 cases reported in the province on Friday, the first time the daily tally has risen above 1,000 since May 30. Nearly all new confirmed cases are variable. Delta body.

While the high number may seem alarming, Health Secretary Christine Elliott said it was not out of the question.

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Ontario reports more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases for the first time since late May

“We had anticipated that as we developed the reopening roadmap, the number of cases would increase,” she told a news conference in Ottawa.

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“But I think the other really important factor is that even as cases are on the rise – which is mostly the Delta variant at this point – our hospitalization rates are still low and our care units are still low. Our specialty care remains low.”

As of Friday, 286 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the province, including 146 in intensive care units.

Meanwhile, York Region reports its first case of the Omicron variant, a child under 12 years old who returned from a southern African country on November 22 and has been isolated since.

York Public Health said those close to the child are also in isolation.

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York Region confirms first case of COVID-19 variant Omicron in children under 12 years old

The Durham region has confirmed its second case of the variant, a day after it was first reported.

Toronto’s Department of Public Health said the second Durham case was linked to the outbreak at the East Toronto Detention Center, which was declared out of caution on Thursday after a person got a test result. positive for the virus.

The public health unit in Toronto is also investigating a suspected case of the Omicron variant on Friday in a restaurant employee who public health officials said had recently traveled to South Africa. They asked patrons of Piccolo Caffe E Vino restaurant who may have come into contact with the staff to be tested for COVID-19.

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Potential COVID exposure at Toronto restaurant may be related to Omicron . variant

Scientists say the Omicron variant may be more contagious than other strains of COVID-19, although they say they need more information before they can be certain.

The National Advisory Committee on Immunization issued updated recommendations Friday for booster shots of the COVID-19 vaccine after a federal request for guidance on the new variant, saying that any Everyone aged 50 and over should get one shot.

That aligns with Ontario’s announcement on Thursday that anyone age 50 or older will be eligible to book booster tickets starting December 13.

“We are taking our approach to the boost stroke very seriously,” Elliott said on Friday.

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The NACI has also strengthened its recommendations for several other groups, and now strongly recommends boosters for people who have had a full series of Oxford-AstraZeneca or Janssen vaccines, who are in or from First Communities Nations, Inuit and Metis and frontline health workers.

The NACI has also suggested a booster dose could be given to 18- to 49-year-olds at least six months after they receive the first two doses.

The province has said it plans to further expand eligibility for age groups next month.

Provincial data shows that 84.2% of Ontarians 5 years of age and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and 80.5% have received two doses.

It also found that 531 new cases on Friday were in people who were not fully immunized, while 58 had unknown vaccination status and 442 were fully vaccinated.

© 2021 Canadian Press

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