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15 Omicron cases now linked to UVic outbreak: Island Health

More cases of COVID-19 have been linked to gatherings of University of Victoria students while off-campus, something health officials say was expected.

As of Wednesday, a total of 137 COVID-19 cases have been linked to two off-campus parties attended by UVic students last week. Of those cases, 15 have been identified as the Omicron variant of concern.

On Tuesday, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also noted that some of the Omicron cases were linked to a rugby tournament that UVic athletes competed in.

"It looks like that outbreak has been driven by (the Delta variant) as well as an introduction partway through of Omicron related to a rugby tournament that has sadly spread Omicron to communities and university communities across the country," she said.

On Wednesday, the federal government urged Canadians not to travel internationally unless it was for essential purposes due to a rise in the Omicron variant across the globe.

"To those who are planning to travel, I say very clearly, now is not the time to travel," said Federal Health Minsiter Jean-Yves Duclos in a news conference Wednesday.

"The rapid spread of the Omicron variant on a global scale makes us fear the worst for Canadians that may think of travelling," he said.

As of Wednesday, there were 856 active cases of COVID-19 in the Island Health region, marking a new record for the health authority.

Island Health has the second highest number of active cases in the province, behind Fraser Health, where 945 cases were active Wednesday. Top Stories

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