First case of Omicron COVID-19 variant reported in Alberta
Six more Albertans have died due to COVID-19 as the province reported 238 new cases Tuesday as well as its first case of the Omicron variant.
The case was confirmed in a returning traveller from Nigeria and the Netherlands, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said Tuesday afternoon.
"The individual tested positive while asymptomatic and I can confirm that this individual has not left quarantine since their arrival from international travel," Hinshaw said. "As I mentioned yesterday, we anticipated the arrival of this variant in the province eventually based on what we have seen with previous strains of COVID-19."
"We're well prepared for this eventuality and have the necessary tools in place to monitor this case and any potential spread of the variant. As I have mentioned, the goal is to delay the spread of Omicron until we learn more about it."
Little is known about the latest COVID-19 variant, Hinshaw stressed, before she added the province is being cautious with targeted contact tracing and testing to slow its spread and learn more about it.
- Infographics: COVID-19 in Alberta by the numbers
- COVID-19 in your community: Edmonton’s coronavirus status in numbers
The six deaths bring the number of deaths due to COVID-19 in Alberta up to 3,248.
There are now 434 COVID-19 patients in Alberta hospitals, including 81 in intensive care units.
Last week, the first doses of vaccine were administered to young Albertans between the ages of five and 11 years old.
Unvaccinated Albertans remain significantly more likely to suffer a severe outcome after contracting COVID-19, including hospitalization or death.
More than three-quarters of all Albertans, 76.1 per cent, have had a first dose of vaccine and 71.4 per cent of the entire population has had a second dose.
Alberta’s next data update is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
GLOBAL OMICRON IMPACT
The discovery comes days after the federal government introduced travel restrictions from southern Africa in an effort to slow the variant’s growth.
Omicron has rattled global financial markets, with Wall Street reporting another dour day on Tuesday. That included a more than six per cent slide in crude oil prices that sent them to their lowest level in three months.
Earlier Tuesday, the province touted a smaller than expected deficit, largely due to higher than expected oil prices.
At the start of Tuesday, five known cases of the Omicron variant had been confirmed in Canada, as public health officials warned more cases were likely to be revealed in the coming days.
On Monday, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said the province was closely monitoring new developments around the variant.
That day, Hinshaw noted the provincial lab is screening all COVID-19 positive samples for previously known variants. Nearly all cases of COVID-19 in the past week have been the Delta variant.
All returning travellers identified as a COVID-19 case are now subject to an expanded case investigation, contact tracing, and testing for close contacts, including rapid testing for household contacts.
Close contacts of returning travellers with cases are required to isolate for 14 days after their last contact, unless they are fully immunized.
“We are taking these interim measures in order to prevent potential spread as early as possible, giving ourselves time to learn more about the variant.”
OTHER COVID-19 RELATED NEWS
Premier Jason Kenney says the province is considering easing private gathering restrictions for the holiday season if Alberta's ICU pressure continues to ease.
Alberta Health Services is allowing health-care workers at facilities at risk of being short staffed to take frequent COVID-19 tests rather than get a vaccine. A list of sites where the accommodation will be allowed has not been released by the government yet.
Alberta's updated vaccine status QR code for domestic and international travel can again be downloaded. Health Minister Jason Copping said Monday an investigation is underway into privacy breaches that may have occurred when it first launched.
Edmonton Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
From cars buried in snow to ambulances scrambling through barely visible streets, CTVNews.ca has collected images showing the extent of the snowfall across Toronto and parts of Ontario.
Ottawa paramedics are thanking an eight-year-old boy for saving an elderly man who was almost completely buried in snow during a blizzard Monday morning.
DEVELOPING | Winter storm blasts across Ontario, parts of Quebec
A winter storm is battering southern Ontario and parts of Quebec Monday, with anywhere from 15 to 60 centimetres of snow expected to fall across the provinces.
Health Canada has authorized the use of Pfizer's COVID-19 antiviral treatment Paxlovid, the first oral and at-home prescription medication to be cleared for use in this country.
Chinese officials have alleged that Beijing's first case of the Omicron variant may have travelled to the city through a piece of mail from Canada, but experts tell CTV News that the claim doesn't add up.
Alberta Justice Minister Kaycee Madu called Edmonton's police chief to discuss a distracted-driving ticket he received in 2021, the Edmonton Police Service confirmed to CTV News.
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health is sounding a tone of optimism nearly two weeks after the province instituted a modified lockdown to slow the spread of the Omicron variant.
The University Hospital Centre (CHU) of Quebec said Monday that a four-year-old girl had died "due to circumstances related to COVID-19."
A six-year cold case investigation into the betrayal of Anne Frank has identified a surprising suspect in the mystery of how the Nazis found the hiding place of the famous diarist in 1944.
Alberta reported 23 COVID-19 deaths since Friday, including that of a child in the 5-9 age group with no pre-existing conditions. A total of 3,403 Albertans have died due to COVID-19.
Alberta Health Minister Jason Copping has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now isolating.
'A painful decision': Saskatoon SPCA to stop investigating animal abuse, cites lack of provincial funding
The city's animal protection organization says it will soon stop investigating cases of alleged animal abuse or neglect.
A Saskatchewan health official is warning that even a case of the sniffles is a reason to self-isolate.
The nation's weather agency has issued a freezing rain warning for Saskatoon.
Federated Co-operatives Limited (FCL) announced plans to build Canada’s largest renewable diesel facility, along with a Canola Processing Plant, in Regina.
Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe's approval rating rose two points but remains below 50 per cent, according to the latest polling data from the Angus Reid Institute.
A Regina mother is continuing her plea for information about the whereabouts of her seven-year-old daughter, who she said is being withheld from her by her ex-husband.
Health officials in Nova Scotia are reporting four new deaths related to COVID-19 on Monday.
New Brunswick reports two COVID-19 related deaths Monday, 322 health-care workers test positive for the virus
New Brunswick health officials reported two more deaths related to COVID-19 on Monday.
Daycare operators in Nova Scotia say the rush to $10/day childcare in five years may end up putting some out of business a lot sooner than that.
Toronto Mayor John Tory is declaring a 'major snow storm condition' to remove the snow left behind by a blizzard Monday morning that forced the closure of schools and major roadways across the city.
As Toronto navigates significant snowfall, highway closures and hazardous travel conditions, many are wondering when they can expect to see their local roads plowed.
Premier Doug Ford’s approval rating has dropped to the lowest level of his entire tenure with a provincial election now less than five months away, a new poll suggests.
The Greater Montreal Area is expected to see as much as 25 centimetres of snow in total.
Contrary to what three important witnesses have said before a coroner, a former health official testified the province lost 'crucial weeks' in failing to see, until mid-March of 2020, that CHSLDs would be at risk.
The city of Ottawa has issued a 24-hour parking ban between 7 p.m. Monday and 7 p.m. Tuesday, and there will be no garbage, recycling and green bin pickup on Monday due to the snow.
There was more snow in Ottawa in a single hour Monday morning than had ever fallen on any Jan. 17 in the city's history.
Snow plows were out on Monday morning to help clear streets as a snowstorm blanketed southern Ontario.
Local waste collection has been cancelled for the remainder of Monday due to heavy snow and icy road conditions across Waterloo Region.
The Region of Waterloo reported two new deaths related to COVID-19 on Monday, along with 30 more hospitalizations.
There is no science associated with Blue Monday but it’s that time of year where people are struggling to get through the short and cold days of winter.
Hospitalizations related to COVID-19 rose in northeastern Ontario on Monday, passing 100 for the first time. Officials in Sudbury, Timmins and North Bay also each reported one new death.
A RCMP constable from Nova Scotia has been charged with sexual assault in Sudbury after a complaint in October 2021.
Manitoba will be getting 1,100 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 antiviral treatment called Paxlovid.
The hospitalization count continues to climb in Manitoba as there are now more than 600 people requiring care due to COVID-19.
Two men are facing charges following what Winnipeg police are calling an "unprovoked assault with a knife" outside a washroom at The Forks over the weekend.
B.C. recorded another 22 deaths related to COVID-19 over the weekend, as the number of test-positive patients in hospital topped 800.
BREAKING | Expiration dates removed for B.C.'s COVID-19 orders around gatherings, events, bars and gyms
The provincial health orders limiting gathering sizes, banning indoor events and forcing the closure of gyms, bars and nightclubs across British Columbia appear to have been extended indefinitely.
Two more long-term care homes in B.C.'s Lower Mainland are dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks, according to an update from Fraser Health on Monday.
Three more people in the Vancouver Island region died of COVID-19 over the weekend, among 22 deaths recorded across the province since Friday.
British Columbia Premier John Horgan says he has completed his cancer treatment and is expected to return to his office in the coming weeks.
Six people were taken into police custody after gunshots were reported in a Nanaimo neighbourhood on Monday.