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Trudeau self-monitoring for COVID-19 after staff, security test positive

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Trudeau self-monitoring for COVID-19 after staff, security test positive
WATCH: Trudeau self-monitoring for COVID-19 after staff, security test positive – Dec 22, 2021

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s self-monitoring for COVID-19 after members of his staff and security team tested positive for the virus.

Trudeau told reporters at COVID-19 update on Wednesday that three members of his staff, and three members of his security team, have been infected with COVID-19.

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He made the announcement virtually, and said he was undergoing regular testing and following public health protocols, like reducing his contacts as much as possible.

“So far, the recommendation is that I self-monitor, that I do rapid tests, that I do testing regularly — so far it’s all been negative,” Trudeau said.

“You will know if ever it becomes positive, I promise you that … but it is not the recommendation from public health at this time, given the nature of the contacts with my staff that I go into full isolation, but of course we’re going to continue to monitor and follow those public health guidelines to the letter.”

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Trudeau did not say when his staff and security learned of their positive test results.

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His comments come amid a surge in COVID-19 infections across much of Canada, largely driven by the highly contagious Omicron variant, ahead of the holidays.

Omicron, which was discovered last month, has been confirmed to be found in 106 countries, according to World Health Organization. Omicron has a “substantial growth advantage” over the Delta variant, and could become the dominant strain of COVID-19 in many countries, the WHO has warned.

On Tuesday, more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported across Canada, according to data from the Public Health Agency of Canada. Officials have projected daily infections could reach up to 26,000 a day nationally by mid-January if Omicron outpaces Delta as the dominant variant in the country.

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Quebec has shattered the pandemic record of daily case counts by any province, posting 6,361 new cases on Wednesday. British Columbia also posted a pandemic record for that province on Tuesday, with 1,308 new cases.

In Ontario, which is also reporting rising numbers, some health units have warned that their testing capacity is overwhelmed and could result in delays.

As Omicron spreads, many provinces are imposing several restrictions like capacity and gathering limits to reduce its impact.

Furthermore, Ontario and Alberta are offering booster shots to all adults to up immunity against Omicron. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said anyone 18 and over can book a third shot as long as their second dose was more than five months ago.

On Monday, Ontario opened eligibility to adults 18 and older who have had their second dose three months ago.

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Prince Edward Island joined Newfoundland and Labrador in announcing isolation requirements for all visitors in an attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.

With the holidays here, Canada’s chief public health officer has urged Canadians to adjust their plans due rising infections.

“I’m urging Canadians across the country to please carefully consider and adjust your holiday plans to minimize risks and maximize layers and quality of protection for you and yours,” said Dr. Theresa Tam at a briefing last Friday.

Since COVID-19 arrived in Canada in January 2020, the country has seen 1,907,771 infections and 30,085 deaths. Out of Canada’s total population, 76 per cent are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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