Omicron COVID-19 variant linked to 2 Cambridge hockey teams: Waterloo Public Health

Over the weekend, Waterloo Public Health announced that it is likely that two COVID-19 outbreaks involving hockey teams in the region are linked to the Omicron variant.

In one case, a Hespeler Shamrocks team played in a tournament in London where there have been 11 cases linked to the outbreak.

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On the other hand, a team of Cambridge Roadrunners played in a tournament held in the Ajax-Markham area and was involved in an outbreak of 20 cases.

On Saturday, Waterloo Public Health said it was monitoring players from both teams and was in close contact to advise them to stay home and isolate until test results are available.

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The agency said it is awaiting the results of whole-genome sequencing but it appears these are Omicron clusters.

Waterloo Public Health says that four cases involving Hespeler Shamrocks and another involving Cambridge Roadrunners screened positive for a marker that raises the possibility that it is the Omicron variant.

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Dr Hsiu-Li Wang, medical officer, said: “It is very likely that the new variant of Omicron is already here in the Waterloo Region and we expect that it will spread rapidly.”

“We know that the best protection against COVID-19 and the new variant of Omicron is vaccination and following public health precautions. At this time of increased risk, we are also advising people to reduce unnecessary social contact.”

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