Ottawa Public Health has confirmed two more cases of the omicron variant.
“Yesterday the government of Ontario announced two individuals in Ottawa tested positive for the COVID-19 omicron variant with recent travel to Nigeria. We are now aware of two other returned travellers who have tested positive for the omicron variant,” the health unit said in a statement.
The first two Ottawa cases were confirmed on Sunday.
Earlier on Monday, the province’s medical officer of health said four COVID-positive people were being investigated for possible exposure to Omicron – two in Ottawa and two others in Hamilton.
There are no results from the Hamilton cases. However, Hamilton Public Health said the two cases they are investigating both recently returned to Ontario from South Africa.
Ottawa Public Health did not disclose where the two additional travellers had been, but all four confirmed cases are now self-isolating.
People in Ontario who have travelled to certain countries in southern Africa over the past month are now being asked to take a COVID-19 test, so health officials can get a better idea of how many cases of the Omicron variant might be in the province.
The identified countries are Zimbabwe, South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Eswatini, Mozambique, and Namibia.
Dr. Kieran Moore said that according to the Public Health Agency of Canada there are 375 people who returned to Ontario in the last two weeks from those seven countries.
Moore noted that local public health units are working to contact them and get them tested.
With the new Omicron COVID-19 variant detected in Ontario, the province’s health minister said on Monday, there is consideration being given to expanding third dose eligibility to more age groups.
Health Minister Christine Elliott said she will have “more to say later this week.”
The variant was detected in South Africa earlier this month with initial evidence suggesting it has a higher re-infection risk.