“I believe we have some very good infrastructure where we can detect this in its early days and slow its spread,” explained Dr Deena Hinshaw
The new Omicron COVID-19 variant has been confirmed in Alberta after a person travelling back from Nigeria and the Netherlands tested positive.
Dr Deena Hinsaw says the individual who is unvaccinated, is asymptomatic and is remaining in quarantine at home.
The new Omicron variant shows signs of potentially being more transmissible, which could affect the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.
“I don’t want Albertans to be alarmed. As I mentioned yesterday, we anticipated the arrival of this variant in the province eventually, based on what we’ve seen with previous strains of COVID-19. We were well prepared for this eventuality and have the necessary tools in place to monitor this case and any potential spread of the variant.”
Hinshaw say's the province’s current goal is to slow the spread of this new variant, so they can learn more about it and what threat it potentially poses to Albertans.
All air travellers entering Canada, except for those coming from the United States, will now need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival at the airport and isolate until they get their results, even if they are fully vaccinated against the virus.
Along with the first case of the Omicron variant, Alberta reported 238 new cases of COVID-19 and six deaths on Tuesday. In total, there are 4,545 active cases in the province. There are now 434 people being treated in hospital, including 81 in intensive care.
About 89 per cent of Albertans over the age of 12 have received at last one dose, with 84 per cent fully vaccinated.