I would like to provide a #COVID19AB update on Omicron variant. Since Dec. 3 we have confirmed 8 new cases of the variant, bringing our total to 12. 11 cases in AB have been identified in returning travelers & 1 is a household contact.(1/9)
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These individuals are isolating, and all appropriate public health follow-up is underway. To date, only mild symptoms have been reported & these individuals are recovering at home. As w/the other cases, these individuals have done nothing wrong & should not be stigmatized.(2/9)
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Some household members of these cases have tested positive for COVID but have not yet been confirmed as Omicron. 1 household contact recently attended an elementary school in North Zone & 1 attended a high school. Out of an abundance of caution, we have notified the schools.(3/9)
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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 w/COVID-19 symptoms must isolate & should be tested through AHS.(4/9)
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As an additional measure, Alberta Health will provide these 2 schools rapid tests to distribute. These tests will help parents/guardians monitor at home. If a child tests positive on a rapid test they must isolate immediately.(5/9)
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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.(6/9)
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As a reminder, there are mitigation strategies in schools such as mandatory masking for students in Gr 4-12, recommended masking for K-3 students, mandatory cohorting for K-6 & mandatory masking for school & childcare staff.(7/9)
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Each morning, staff, students & visitors should assess whether they feel well enough to attend school. Parents/guardians should assess their children daily, as usual, for any new signs or symptoms of illness using the Alberta Daily Health Checklist.(8/9) open.alberta.ca/publications…

Dec 6, 2021 · 4:13 PM UTC

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Finding additional cases is not unexpected, and 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.(9/9)
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Replying to @CMOH_Alberta
Give all parents rapid tests !! This is criminal keeping them from us.
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Replying to @CMOH_Alberta
Self rapid tests are needed!!! @JasonCoppingAB
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Parents are being given rapid tests at schools identified.
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Replying to @CMOH_Alberta
When I was in school, I remember both my parents had to be at work by 9 am, leaving me and my brother to get up, eat breakfast on our own, and walk to school. No one had time to assess how well we were in the morning. I bet some kids are taking themselves to school now.
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Replying to @CMOH_Alberta
Stares in asymptomatic spread.
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Replying to @CMOH_Alberta
Should be N95 masks and what about filtration!! #COVIDisAirborne
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