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Omicron variant grows to 5 cases in B.C., but no serious illness reported: Dr. Henry

Illness for new COVID variant cases has been mild or asymptomatic
A Lifelabs employee walks past a child waiting for his parents in the COVID-19 testing area for arriving international passengers at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., on Thursday, December 2, 2021. All air travellers entering Canada, except for those coming from the U.S., are now required to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival and isolate until they get their results, even if they are fully vaccinated against the virus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The province has now reported a total of five cases of the new Omicron variant, provincial health officer Dr. Henry said during a Tuesday (Dec. 7) press conference.

Of the cases, three have been fully vaccinated with three different COVID-19 vaccine regimes, while two were unvaccinated. One was discovered last week, while four were announced Tuesday.

The Omicron variant was first detected in South Africa and led to multiple countries, including Canada, to ban entry for travellers who have been in 10 African countries in the past 14 days.

All air passengers, except from those coming from the U.S., must take a COVID-19 test on arrival in Canada and isolate until the results are known, whether or not they are vaccinated.

READ MORE: Non-U.S. air travellers must take COVID test, isolate as feds try to slow Omicron spread

Henry said that all five cases have involved international travel and that their level of illness has been mild to asymptomatic. The people who tested positive were between the ages of 18 and 60.

However, the province has more cases that are suspected to be Omicron.

“Once we start to look for it, it’s likely we are going to find it,” Henry said.

However, the provincial health officer said she does not intend to put in more restrictions for the holiday season.

READ MORE: B.C. reports first case of COVID-19 Omicron variant, in isolation


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