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Hamilton Public Health Services investigating two suspected cases of COVID-19 Omicron variant

HAMILTON, ON – This morning, the Ontario Chief Medical Officer of Health announced that two Hamilton residents who recently returned from travelling to South Africa tested positive for COVID-19 and are awaiting results of whole genome sequencing related to the Omicron variant. City of Hamilton Public Health Services is awaiting these results from the Public Health Ontario Laboratory expected in the coming days. City of Hamilton Public Health Services is conducting case and contact management and the two individuals and their case contacts are self-isolating.

As we have since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamilton Public Health Services follows up directly with all individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 and their close contacts. To protect the privacy of the individuals, Hamilton Public Health Services cannot share additional information about any case of COVID-19.

Hamilton Public Health Services is working with the Province and Public Health Ontario to monitor COVID-19 variants of concern including Delta and Omicron.

To reduce the transmission of the Omicron variant, Hamilton Public Health Services strongly advise individuals who have been in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia Nigeria, South Africa, and Zimbabwe within 14 days before arriving in Hamilton and members of their households to:

  • Immediately self-isolate from household contacts even if fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Follow federal guidance, and if contacted, follow any additional guidance provided by City of Hamilton Public Health Services.
  • Get tested for COVID-19 at a Hamilton Assessment Centre regardless of whether the individual has symptoms. Federal guidance at this time is for COVID-19 testing to occur immediately upon arrival to Canada and eight days after arrival.

Hamilton Public Health Services knows that this information may be of concern for some in our community. If an individual has questions or needs help with this guidance, please contact Hamilton Public Health Services’ COVID-19 Hotline at 905-974-9848 or [email protected]. If calling after hours, please leave a voicemail message with contact information and public health staff will return the call the following day during business hours.

The best way community members can prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to get fully vaccinated and keep their guards up by following the well-established public health measures including wearing a mask, maintaining physical distance, limiting close contacts and staying home when they’re unwell. Information regarding COVID-19 vaccine walk-in options for individuals ages 12+, booking an appointment for those five to 11, those eligible for third or booster doses, and frequently asked questions are available at hamilton.ca/GetYourVaccine.

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