Public health is reporting that one case of the B.1.1.529 (omicron) variant has been detected in Manitoba.
According to information released Tuesday afternoon, the individual recently travelled from one of the 10 federally advised countries and has experienced mild symptoms. Public health says it is conducting aggressive case and contact management. If additional public health risks are assessed and it is deemed necessary to protect the health of others, more information will be released.
The new variants spread the same way as the original COVID-19 virus, according to Public Health, adding Manitobans should continue following public health orders, limit contact with others, focus on the fundamentals to limit the spread of COVID-19 (including variants) and protect themselves and those around them. This includes:
check yourself for symptoms every day;
stay home when you are sick, even if symptoms are only mild;
get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19;
maintain social (physical) distancing;
wear a mask when social (physical) distancing is not possible;
wash your hands when social (physical) distancing is not possible; and
follow all public health advice and direction if you have returned from travel or have been identified as close contact to a case with a variant of concern.
Federal travel restrictions and measures can be found here https://travel.gc.ca/travel-covid.
Public Health says while vaccination remains the focus to slow the spread of COVID-19, Manitoba is reducing the spread of variants of concern by:
laboratory screening of positive COVID-19 specimens for mutations associated with variants of concern to allow early detection, followed by a confirmation test;
aggressive case and contact management to contain and slow the spread of COVID-19 including variants of concern in the province;
ongoing reviews of public health measures to align with changing national guidance and incorporate emerging evidence; and
ongoing monitoring of known and emerging variants in Manitoba.
Additional online resources are available on the following topics:
vaccine campaign in Manitoba at www.manitoba.ca/vaccine and https://protectmb.ca;
possible exposure locations by region at www.gov.mb.ca/covid19/updates/flights.html#event;
data related to COVID-19, variants of concern, outbreaks and some downloadable and historic data at https://geoportal.gov.mb.ca/; and
up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Manitoba at www.manitoba.ca/COVID19.