Thu. Jan 27th, 2022

The western provinces of Alberta and British Columbia shorten the period of self-isolation, while Quebec institutes night time.

Two Canadian provinces have shortened the self-isolation period for vaccinated individuals who test positive for COVID-19, as the country is facing an increase in cases related to the Omicron variant.

Alberta and British Columbia in western Canada halve the required self-isolation period for vaccinated people with COVID-19 to five days, as Canadian provinces try to adapt to workforce challenges.

Unvaccinated people who contract the virus will still have to isolate themselves for 10 days.

“We are making these changes to help prevent disruptions in the Alberta workforce, especially for those providing services on which Albertans rely, ”Health Minister Alberta Jason Copping announced Friday. The changes will take effect on Monday.

Alberta has also disrupted regular reporting of coronavirus data for the New Year holiday season.

British Columbia will now offer a booster dose of a coronavirus vaccine to all pregnant women six months after their second dose, the province’s top doctor also said on Friday. vC reported a record 4,383 cases on Friday, a jump of nearly 50 percent from Wednesday.

In Canada, provincial governments are responsible for the administration of health care, which means that rules on quarantine periods, capacity constraints and other responses to the pandemic differ significantly across the world’s second largest country.

Meanwhile, Canada’s second most populous province of Quebec reported 16,461 new coronavirus cases on Friday. The predominantly French-speaking province will enact a daily night time period starting at 22:00 local time (3:00 GMT), including restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the virus and protecting Quebec’s strained healthcare network.

“This is an extreme action to take because the situation is extreme,” said Prime Minister Francois Legault.

Also from 17:00 (22:00 GMT) on Friday, Quebec restaurants will also be restricted to providing takeaway or delivery services, while most indoor private events are prohibited. Gyms, bars and other entertainment venues have been closed since early last week.

In addition, schools at all levels across Quebec will not reopen for personal classes until at least January 17th. Places of worship can not open except to hold funerals, which will be limited to 25 people.

People queue to pick up coronavirus antigen test kits as the latest Omicron variant emerges on December 22 as a threat in Toronto, Canada [File: Cole Burston/Reuters]

In Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, classes were scheduled to resume Monday, but were moved back to Wednesday. Ontario also eases its isolation rules for vaccinated individuals who contract COVID-19 for up to five days.

As of Friday, Ontario is limiting eligibility for publicly funded PCR tests to high-risk individuals who are symptomatic or at risk of severe coronavirus disease. This includes hospital and long-term care home staff and residents, and people living in indigenous communities.

Ontarians who have COVID-19 symptoms, but not eligible for a publicly funded test, must accept that they are infected and follow the new five-day self-isolation guidelines, health officials said.

In Ontario, like other provinces, anyone 18 and older is eligible for a third coronavirus booster shot three months after receiving a second dose.

In a New Year’s message, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encouraged qualifying Canadians to get an incentive shot to stem the rising tide of Omicron infections.

“With the threat of new variants, vaccination remains our best line of defense against COVID-19, and we will have to continue working together in 2022 to put this pandemic behind us,” Trudeau said late Friday.

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