Omicron Makes Up 80% Of Quebec COVID-19 Cases After Just Three Weeks

It is now the dominant virus variant in the province.

Contributing Writer
Omicron Makes Up 80% Of Quebec COVID-19 Cases After Just Three Weeks

Three weeks after Quebec confirmed its first case of the Omicron variant, Omicron has become the dominant COVID-19 virus variant in the province.

In a news release issued on December 21, the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) announced that approximately 80% of the province's COVID-19 cases — or 8 out of every 10 — can be attributed to the Omicron variant.

The release says this information comes as a result of INSPQ's laboratory partnering with four hospital laboratories "to better monitor the progression of the Omicron variant in the province."

It screened a portion of cases detected at the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Québec (CHU de Québec-Université Laval), the Centre hospitalier universitaire de Montréal (CHUM), the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) and the Hôpital de Saint-Eustache in the Laval-Laurentides-Lanaudière cluster.

This revealed "a very rapid progression of the Omicron variant," INSPQ says.

The INSPQ lab will continue working with the hospital labs to screen for Omicron and will also screen samples from Nunavik. As well, all travellers returning from abroad who test positive are screened for the presence of the Omicron variant.

"Considering the speed at which Omicron has taken hold in other countries and elsewhere in Canada, it is no longer relevant or realistic to attempt to curb it through routine screening of positive cases and different management of cases and contacts," INSPQ says.

"However, it is useful to continue to document the speed of installation of the variant in Quebec in order to refine our projections and our modelling and thus better anticipate the real impact of this Omicron variant on the epidemiological situation, in particular on acute care hospitalizations and intensive care units."

INSPQ says its approach does not provide an accurate picture of the situation in each region, but it does give them an indication of the rate at which the Omicron variant is overtaking the Delta variant.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

Ilana Belfer
Contributing Writer
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