British Columbia health officials have detected Canada’s first known case of the new COVID-19 variant, BA.2.86.

In the news release published on August 29, the B.C. Centre for Disease Control said the variant was found in a person from the Fraser Health region who has not travelled outside of the province.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C’s provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C.’s health minister, said in a joint statement they are monitoring the data on the BA.2.86 variant, but the new case was not unexpected.

Also according to that statement, both health officials said the risk for those who live in British Columbia hasn’t changed and that reducing transmission and having protection through vaccination continues to be the best way to be protected against all COVID-19 variants.

“We urge all people in B.C. to continue to follow public-health advice and to stay home when sick, wear masks when appropriate, follow respiratory etiquette, wash hands frequently, and most importantly, stay up to date on your vaccinations.”

For more information, access the B.C. government’s website here.