So Far The Omicron Variant Seems Limited In Quebec, So That's Good News
It doesn't look like there's community spread, according to the INSPQ.
The Institut national de santé publique de Québec (INSPQ) says that despite some serious concerns about the Omicron variant in Quebec, a recent survey, which the INSPQ called a "snapshot" of the situation in Quebec, didn't reveal any community spread in the province yet.
The CDC defines community spread as a situation in which "people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected."
#COVID19 Pour l\u2019instant, un seul cas du variant #Omicron issu d'un voyageur a \u00e9t\u00e9 confirm\u00e9 au Qu\u00e9bec. Une enqu\u00eate men\u00e9e par l\u2019INSPQ ne semble pas r\u00e9v\u00e9ler de transmission communautaire de ce variant dans la province.https://www.inspq.qc.ca/nouvelles/l-institut-national-sante-publique-du-quebec-surveille-variant-omicron\u00a0\u2026— INSPQ (@INSPQ) 1638817165
The INSPQ says its laboratory, the LSPQ, "has rapidly deployed surveillance for the Omicron variant," including a "one-time survey" of positive COVID-19 infections on November 30 to determine the number of Omicron cases.
"Of the 1,174 SARS-CoV-2 positive samples screened, the LSPQ received and screened 894 samples. Of these, no Omicron variants were detected," the INSPQ said.
The INSPQ therefore concluded that so far, Omicron infections appear to be limited to cases involving travellers.
While officials have confirmed only one case of Omicron in Quebec, two Omicron-positive individuals in Ottawa entered the country by way of Montreal, according to Ontario's chief medical officer, Dr. Kieran Moore.
The INSPQ says that travellers returning to Quebec from outside Canada who test positive for COVID-19 will also be screened for the Omicron variant.
The results of the INSPQ study on the Omicron variant come as the province moves to alter health rules for the holidays, allowing up to 20 vaccinated people to gather in a private residence as of December 23.
Despite the rule relaxation, Health Minister Christian Dubé still called on Quebecers to limit their contacts.
"We count on Quebecers to be responsible and on their judgement, as we have done from the start to continue to respect health measures," he said.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.