No need for new restrictions yet in Ottawa amid Omicron cases: Dr. Etches – Ottawa | The Canadian News

Ottawa’s chief physician and mayor say it is too early to call for stronger public health measures in the city, as four cases of the worrying COVID-19 variant Omicron have been confirmed locally.

Dr. Vera Etches, the local medical health officer, told reporters Monday after an Ottawa Board of Health meeting that four people in the city tested positive for the Omicron variant and are self-isolating after returning from travel. recent to Nigeria. There is currently no evidence of local transmission, he said.

These four Omicron cases are among the first confirmed in Canada, with one confirmed case in Quebec and two other possible cases in Hamilton currently under investigation as of Tuesday morning.

The Omicron variant has prompted a number of global travel restrictions from the southern African region where it was first detected, but scientists remain unsure how much more transmissible or resistant to vaccination the heavily mutated strain might be compared to. with the previous variants.

The story continues below the ad.

Read more:

Omicron: How does it compare to other worrying variants of COVID-19?

Etches said Monday that he sees no need for additional meeting restrictions or improved capacity limits in the wake of Omicron’s arrival.

“At this point, I don’t see the need for additional public health measures in Ottawa,” he said.

While acknowledging that Ottawa could see an increase in cases in the coming weeks as a result of the variant, Etches said it remains the same virus that residents have been successfully managing and living with for much of the last year and a half.

Click to play video: 'Impact of the Omicron COVID-19 variant on travel'

Impact of the Omicron COVID-19 variant on travel

Impact of the Omicron COVID-19 variant on travel

“What really keeps COVID in check every time is that people decrease the number of close contacts they have,” he said. “We have managed Delta this fall, where many countries have had problems.”

The story continues below the ad.

Mayor Jim Watson also said in a comment through his press secretary on Monday that it is too early to know if the restrictions are justified, but said he would follow the lead of Etches and Ottawa Public Health.

“We will always follow the advice of our medical experts and assess the need for further restrictions as more information becomes available. At this point, it is still too early to consider whether further restrictions are needed, ”he said.

Read more:

Canada’s first Omicron cases land at Montreal’s Trudeau International Airport

The Omicron variant arrives in Ottawa as the colder weather season and Christmas gatherings approach.

When asked if residents should change their behavior during the holidays as a result of Omicron, Etches said the situation is not fundamentally different than it was before the new uncertainty.

“I feel like my message is actually the same as last week before we knew about Omicron,” he said.

Variant of concern or not, residents should always do a risk assessment of their activities during the holidays. Getting vaccinated, staying home when sick, choosing lower-risk activities and doing them with masks, distancing yourself and in well-ventilated spaces is always the recipe for success in the pandemic, he said.

The story continues below the ad.

“It is not yet a normal holiday season, we are still in a pandemic,” he said, before noting that social gatherings are still “an important part of our life.”

Click to Play Video: 'Countries Increase Restrictions As More Omicron Cases Are Detected Worldwide'

Countries Increase Restrictions As More Omicron Cases Are Detected Worldwide

Countries Increase Restrictions As More Omicron Cases Are Detected Worldwide

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Leave a Comment