COVID-19: First cluster of cases confirmed in Halton Region, Niagara Region and Ottawa-Centre Region

Omicron variant of COVID-19 confirmed in Halton and Durham regions cases

The Halton Region Public Health Unit (PRU) and Durham Region Public Health Unit have confirmed the presence of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in two patients who recently travelled to Wuhan, China.

A Halton Region spokesperson said the first case in the region was identified on March 23 and the second on March 28. Both individuals were members of the public who were diagnosed in the public health sector after returning to Canada.

Since the first case was identified, the Halton Region has reported three clusters of cases: one in Halton Region, one in Niagara Region, and one in the Ottawa-Centre region.

The first cluster of cases were identified in the Halton Region on March 12 and March 14 in the townships of Haldimand and Welland. The cases included two individuals who were in their 50s and a 69-year-old woman who was a frequent user of public transit.

The second cluster of cases were confirmed in the Niagara Region on March 22, the townships of Parry Sound and Parry Sound West, and on March 23, the townships of Leeds-Grenville and Northumberland East. The cases included two individuals in their 50s and a 34-year-old man who travelled from China to Ottawa with friends and is believed to have visited a relative in China.

The third cluster of cases were confirmed in the Ottawa-Centre region on March 24, the cities of Ottawa, Kitchener and Waterloo, and the townships of Guelph, Leeds-Grenville and Northumberland East. A woman in her 30s who was a frequent user of public transit and the relative of the man who visited China were diagnosed with COVID-19.

The Public Health Unit are urging residents not to attend mass gatherings of any kind or other congregation events if there is no known outbreak or if they have pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension or asthma.

Public health officials will continue to monitor this emerging virus to ensure the public can continue to interact safely. The public health unit is advising anyone with concerns to call the number provided on each health unit website. Public health units will also be distributing information, if required, to increase public awareness and support.

A spokesperson from the Public Health Unit said they are following all recommended safety precautions

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