York Region says it has confirmed its first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant on Friday in a child under 12 from Vaughan.
The region’s public health unit said the child returned to Canada from the southern African region on Nov. 22 and has been isolating since that time. The agency said their close contacts are also isolating.
Canada reported its first case of the Omicron variant on Nov. 28. The variant was recently declared the fifth variant of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) since the pandemic began.
Health officials are still unsure if Omicron is more transmissible but the WHO said it would have more data “within days.”
“York Region Public Health continues to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and we should expect to see the number of Omicron variant cases rise across York Region,” said Dr. Barry Pakes, York Region Medical Officer of Health said in a release Friday.
Pakes said the best protection against COVID-19 is still the vaccines and continued to urge residents to get vaccinated.