OHS Canada Magazine

Omicron infectivity period doesn’t appear shorter than other forms of COVID-19: PHO


A report by Public Health Ontario says the period of infectivity for the Omicron variant of COVID-19 does not appear to be shorter than other forms of the virus, and may be longer in some cases.

The agency says that while there is limited evidence on the infectivity of Omicron, its own modelling data suggests people remain contagious for a similar amount of time.

And it says that, unlike other variants of concern, Omicron does not seem to show a faster viral clearance in vaccinated people compared with unvaccinated ones.

The findings are included in a report on strategies to cohort patients in acute care that was published last week.

They align with comments made earlier this month by Canada’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Theresa Tam, who said the latest evidence does not show the Omicron variant is contagious for less time than previous versions of the virus.

Advertisement

Ontario was one of several provinces to recently reduce the isolation period to five days from 10 days following the onset of symptoms for those who are vaccinated.

Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Yukon and Nunavut, cut the isolation period to seven days for vaccinated people.