Omicron’s cluster now includes 50 COVID-19 cases, 18 households: MLHU – London | The Canadian News

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says a cluster of COVID-19 cases involving the Omicron variant has now infected at least 50 people and 18 households.

The update was shared during a briefing hosted by MLHU on Thursday, with Acting Medical Health Officer Dr. Alex Summers, who told reporters that seven schools have been affected, two daycare centers are implicated, and there has been a big outbreak in a local church.

“We are also investigating potential Omicron cases that are not linked to this group, including at least one person who tested positive for Omicron, but who did not travel or is linked to a traveler,” added Summers.

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Summers noted that only “some of those cases” in Omicron’s initial group have been confirmed to contain the variant through whole genome sequencing, while the rest have been linked through close contact investigation into infections. .

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“Fifty percent of those cases are fully vaccinated. Fortunately, zero have been hospitalized, ”Summers said of the large Omicron cluster.

The church involved is God’s Favorite House on Dearness Drive, which MLHU identified when it first reported that the Omicron variant was likely involved in the group earlier this week.

The following schools have been affected, according to Summers:

  • St. Andre Bessette Catholic High School
  • Saint Nicholas Catholic School
  • St. Marguerite d’Youville Catholic School
  • St. Mary Choir & Orchestra Catholic School
  • Delaware Central Public School
  • Princess Isabel Public School

Summers said KidZone Daycare Center is also involved, however it did not name a seventh school or a second child care center.

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Omicron’s presence in the cluster means that more people have had to quarantine themselves as a result of the MLHU protocol when it comes to the variant, according to Summers.

When it comes to a suspected Omicron variant, fully vaccinated people should be quarantined with the goal of limiting transmission, however this is not a requirement when it comes to the Delta variant.

“What that means, though, is that teachers, for example, in some of these schools that are fully vaccinated and that they wouldn’t otherwise have to quarantine, are quarantined,” Summers said.

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“That causes operational challenges for some of those schools and that’s why some of those schools have to close due to staffing challenges.”

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The update comes as new recommendations from MLHU, Huron Perth Public Health, and Southwestern Public Health go into effect.

The recommendations do not change health protocols already established by the Ontario government, but instead offer advice on how to limit the spread of COVID-19 during the holiday season.

They are as follows:

  • Everyone limits indoor social gatherings in private homes to no more than 10 people. All attendees age 12 and older must be vaccinated.
  • All unvaccinated people from 12 years of age avoid any nonessential indoor contact with people who are not part of their home.
  • Whenever possible, people work remotely.

Health officials say the recommendations will be re-evaluated in four weeks.

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