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COVID-19: Alberta adds 8 more Omicron cases over weekend

Alberta went from four cases of the Omicron COVID-19 variant to 12 over the weekend.

On Monday, the province’s top doctor tweeted that some household members of those cases have tested positive for COVID-19, but have not yet been confirmed as Omicron. An elementary school in the North Zone and a high school have also been notified after two of the contacts attended classes.

“The schools will notify any potentially exposed groups & additional testing is being recommended. It is recommended that anyone who receives a notification letter go for testing & monitor for symptoms. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms must isolate & should be tested through AHS,” Dr. Deena Hinshaw tweeted Monday morning.

The schools are being given rapid tests to distribute to families so they can monitor at home.

“Unvaccinated children may continue to attend school & childcare but should avoid crowded public places for 14 days after the last exposure. Fully vaccinated may continue to attend school & other activities but should monitor closely for symptoms,” the tweet read.

According to Hinshaw, the increase in Omicron infections was not “unexpected.”

“Identifying these cases early is a testament to the work of our public health lab & front-line public health teams. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully & keep Albertans updated,” she said.

Eleven of Alberta’s 12 Omicron cases have been returning travellers, while the other is a household contact. To date, only mild symptoms have been reported and the people are recovering at home.

Alberta’s COVID-19 data will next be updated Monday afternoon.

The province’s COVID-19 hospitalizations hit a three-month low just before the weekend. On Friday, there were 395 COVID-19 hospital patients, including 78 in ICUs. The last time Alberta had fewer than 400 COVID-19 hospital patients was Aug. 28.

The province also reported 349 new cases of the disease and another death. That was the third consecutive day the number of new cases declined after being in the 200s the three days before.

Updated vaccination data was unavailable because of a technical issue, but according to the numbers from the day before, 76.7 per cent of all Albertans had received at least one dose of vaccine, and 71.7 per cent are fully vaccinated.

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