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The Northwest Territories provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday July 6, 2020.Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press

Health officials say the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Northwest Territories.

A statement on the territory government’s website says the news was anticipated.

The statement doesn’t say where or how many cases were detected, but it includes an update to a public exposure notification that it says is “to align with Omicron’s higher risk of transmissibility.”

The update warns that passengers in rows 23 to 29 of WestJet Flight WS280 on Dec. 13 from Kelowna to Calgary, and rows 16 to 22 on WS3359 from Calgary to Yellowknife later that same day, must isolate regardless of their vaccination status.

It says affected passengers must arrange for a lab test on Tuesday and their isolation must continue for 10 days from their arrival in the territory, or eight days if their test comes back negative.

The territory had already issued public exposure notifications about the flights, but originally said that only people who were unvaccinated needed to isolate.

Northwest Territories reported 14 active COVID-19 cases as of Friday evening.

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