The York region says it has confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant on Friday in a child under the age of 12 from Vaughan.

The region’s public health unit said the boy returned to Canada from the southern African region on November 22 and has been in isolation ever since. The agency said its close contacts are also isolating themselves.

Canada reported its first case of the Omicron variant on November 28. The variant was recently declared the fifth variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) since the pandemic began.

Health officials are still not sure if Omicron is more communicable, but the WHO said it would have more data “in a few days.”

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“York Region Public Health continues to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and we should expect to see an increase in the number of cases of Omicron variants in the York Region,” said Officer Dr. Barry Pakes. York Region Health Physician in a statement. Friday.

Pakes said the best protection against COVID-19 remains vaccines and continued to urge residents to get vaccinated.

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