Nova Scotia and BC say Omicron is spreading in their community because of a rugby championship at Queen’s University.

As public health officials across the country define how the surge in Omicron cases began, they are linking the cases to a rugby tournament hosted at Queen’s University in November.

On Tuesday, British Columbia Provincial Health Official Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters that there had been an outbreak of COVID-19 cases at the University of Victoria. The cases involved Omicron and Delta variants.

At the same time, Dr. Henry said, “The introduction of Omicron (was) related to a rugby tournament, which has unfortunately extended Omicron to college communities across the country.” The tournament took place between November 24 and 28.

On the same day, Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief physician, said there is “a possibility” that the Dalhousie University men’s rugby team has brought the COVID-19 variant to the province.

In response, Queen’s University issued the following statement: “The health and safety of our community is our primary concern, and we have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases in our student population. KFL & A Public Health conducts all contact tracing and has started testing several suspected cases to confirm whether any are the Omicron variant that has been identified in the KFL & A region. “

The university further added that it supports public health efforts to limit any identified and “recently introduced spread improved precautions to our already rigorous protocols that exist to keep our community safe. ”They also say they suspended all varsity activities once an outbreak was declared.

In addition to UBC, Uvic and Queen’s, the University of Guelph, the University of Calgary, Concordia University, Dalhousie University and the Royal Military College participated.

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