The WHO Weighs In On The Severity Of Omicron Cases – Full COVID-19 Update

The WHO Weighs In On The Severity Of Omicron Cases – Full COVID-19 Update

There’s some encouraging news about the new Omicron COVID-19 variant. As it spreads around the world most people who get it seem to have only a mild infection. But the World Health Organization says it’s too early to say anything definitive about the severity of illness Omicron might cause. The new variant has prompted travel restrictions in many countries, including Canada.

The Province Holds Firm on Calls For More Testing:

Premier Doug Ford is defending the province’s approach to COVID-19 testing amid growing calls for expanded access to rapid tests ahead of the holiday season. At a press conference in Peterborough yesterday, Ford said his government has already distributed 33 million rapid tests and is doing 57 per cent of all rapid tests in the entire country. Some Ontario workplaces offer rapid tests for their employees, and children in publicly funded schools are being sent home for the December break with a kit of five rapid tests each. But for the most part, the tests that offer results within around 15 minutes are not freely available to people who simply want to rule out an asymptomatic COVID-19 infection.

Pfizer Now Recommends That Everyone Get a Booster:

Pfizer’s chief scientific officer is recommending everyone get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose as soon as possible. Yesterday, the drug company announced that a third dose may offer important protection against the new Omicron variant even though the initial two doses appear significantly less effective. A small lab study in South Africa also concluded people may be more susceptible to breakthrough Omicron infections after just two Pfizer doses.

Kingston Hospitals Are Shipping Patents Out Due To Capacity Issues:

A Kingston hospital network says it will have to send patients to other regions for the first time in the pandemic after a spike in COVID-19 hospitalizations. The Kingston Health Sciences Centre says it has clearance to transfer three patients to offset some of its capacity issues. As of yesterday, the hospital network was treating 29 COVID patients, including 11 in intensive care units. The region also recorded an unprecedented 389 active cases.

More Omicron in Ontario:

The Omicron variant has been confirmed in an individual in Ontario who doesn’t have a travel history. Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington Public Health said in a statement yesterday that it’s trying to identify how the person was infected with the variant. The public health unit says the case confirms that the variant is present in the region. By yesterday morning, the province recorded at least 31 cases of the Omicron variant.

Ontario Numbers:

New daily COVID-19 cases in Ontario were above 1,000 again yesterday, with the province reporting 1,009. Eight new deaths from the virus are also reported. Health Minister Christine Elliott says 443 of the new cases are in people who aren’t fully vaccinated, and 64 are in people whose vaccination status isn’t known. There are 155 patients in intensive care due to COVID-19 at this time.

Waterloo Region / WDG Numbers:

Public Health of Waterloo Region says there were 48 new cases yesterday but no new deaths. Active cases are back up over 300 for the first time in months, at 312. Three more people are hospitalized for a total of 14. Only 3 of them are in the ICU. 

 35 new cases were announced yesterday by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. Hospitalizations are now at 3 patients with 142 active cases. 

Contains files from The Canadian Press

Photo Credit: The World Health Organization

 

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