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York Region confirms positive child test for Omicron . variant

York Area Public Health confirmed its first positive case of the new Omicron variant on Friday.

According to York Region Health Officer, Dr. Barry Pakes, one child tested positive after a recent trip.

“It was a case of someone too young to be vaccinated, who had recently traveled to South Africa with a family member,” Dr Pakes said.

“The person has two family members who have also tested positive for COVID, but the screen still doesn’t have Omicron.”

Public health predicts a return to screening tests soon, but cannot provide a definite time.

While screening has yet to confirm whether the remaining two individuals have the latest COVID-19 mutation, Dr Pakes believes the region will have three Omicron cases.

Dr Pakes said it was only a matter of time before the new variant reached the region.

“This was expected. It’s not surprising at all,” he said.

“We’ve seen quite a few cases in Ontario, Canada and around the world, and they’re travel-related. There’s no evidence of any transmission in the York Region,” he added.

Dr Pakes said all three are self-isolating in their homes. He said he did not believe there was any risk to the community.

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