Evidence that Omicron COVID-19 variant is spreading in community, warns Ottawa Public Health



Ottawa Public Health warns that there is evidence of community transmission of the COVID-19 variant of concern Omicron “in various settings,” two weeks after the variant was first detected in Ottawa.

The Ottawa Public Health COVID-19 dashboard currently shows five confirmed cases of the Omicron variant in Ottawa. Medical Officer of Health Dr Vera Etches previously said the five cases were related to travel.

In a statement on Twitter on Saturday afternoon, the health unit said, “We can confirm evidence of community transmission of Omicron,” but no further information was provided.

“While this news is concerning, we know the same measures we have practiced throughout the pandemic will help reduce transmission,” the health unit said.

“Wear a mask, keep a physical distance from others, limit close contact, wash your hands, stay home when sick, and if you have symptoms, isolate + don’t delay testing. Oh, and just a reminder: vaccines work. “

In a statement to CTV News Ottawa on Saturday afternoon, Ottawa Public Health said there is evidence of transmission involving the Omicron variant in a “variety of settings”.

“The message to residents is that no matter where Omicron is located, the same public health measures we practice will help reduce transmission: limit close contact, wear a mask and physical separation, stay home in case of disease, daily screening and getting tested if symptomatic, ”SPO said.

Ottawa Public Health ordered the closure of Saint-Jean-Paul II Catholic Elementary School on Saturday evening due to an outbreak of COVID-19, suspected of being linked to Omicron.

“Tests indicate that this is likely the Omicron variant of concern,” Ottawa Public Health said in a letter to parents on Saturday.

“As a result, the entire school (staff and students) was considered a high-risk contact and should self-isolate immediately, regardless of their immunization status.”

Ottawa Public Health reported 124 cases of COVID-19 in Ottawa on Saturday, the largest one-day increase in cases since early May.

In an interview on Newstalk 580 CFRA “CFRA Live with Andrew Pinsent” on Saturday morning, the scientific director of Ontario’s COVID-19 Science Advisory Table warned that the Omicron variant is “of some concern.”

“We basically have a doubling time right now of three days. Omicron cases in this province are increasing, doubling every three days,” said Dr Peter Jüni.

Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kieran Moore told reporters on Friday that 10% of COVID samples were positive for COVID-19, and that it could become the dominant strain in the province over the course of next month.

“We are expected to have a significant increase in the coming weeks,” Moore said.


The Omicron variant transmission word comes as Ottawa sees an increase in COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in 26 schools.

Ottawa Public Health is warning people that there will be a “delay” between when you receive a COVID-19 test result and when you speak to a case manager as the number of cases increases.

On Saturday, people leaving testing centers were told it could take 24 to 48 hours for results to be received.

Félix Duponte, 10, was among dozens of people who left the test site.

“There was a case of COVID on my bus,” the grade 5 student said. “I was home for a week and got tested today.”

Duponte received his first dose of the vaccine. He will be allowed to return to class once he has tested negative for the virus.

“It’s planned, it’s happening,” said Felix’s father. “You prepare and you adapt. “

As the holiday season approaches, experts recommend expanding rapid tests to add that extra level of confidence and security before reuniting with loved ones.

“The reality is that people are going to come together. The important thing is to get together in small groups, ”said Dr. Dale Kalina, infectious disease specialist at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington.

“Also, do not meet with people who have not received their two doses of the vaccine. The reality is that it is not safe for these people, any of your relatives and relatives to have the virus.”


Beginning Monday, Ontarians aged 50 and over will be eligible to receive a booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. On January 4, all Ontarians 18 and over will be able to reserve a third dose.

The first cases of the omicron COVID-19 variant of concern in Canada were reported in Ottawa on November 28.



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