Ontario confirms first 2 cases of COVID-19 UK Variant
Shady Salah – Media in Toronto
Ontario has detected two confirmed cases of the COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom. In a news release, the provincial government said the cases are a couple in Durham with no known travel history.
” This further reinforces the need for Ontarians to stay home as much as possible and continue to follow all public health advice, including the provincewide shutdown measures beginning today,” Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, said in a statement.
” Durham Region Health Department has conducted case, and contact investigation and Ontario is working in collaboration with our federal counterparts at the Public Health Agency of Canada.”Both individuals are now in self-isolation. Ontario is the first known
province in Canada to identify the variant. Modelling and epidemiological studies suggest that the COVID-19 variant first identified in the UK can spread easier and faster, but there is no evidence that it is more likely to cause severe illness.
There is no evidence to suggest that the Health Canada-approved vaccines will be any less effective against the new variant. Recognizing the potential increased risk that inbound international travelers may pose with this new variant, the province continues to call on the federal government to urgently partner with Ontario to implement testing at Toronto Pearson International Airport.
- Canada has posted a travel ban on all flights arriving from the UK until January 6, 2021.
- Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health strongly advises that travel out of the province should be limited to essential purposes only.
- Ontario has imposed a provincewide shutdown which started December 26, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. to stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Ontario has launched a new government web page detailing the province’s three-phase immunization program, information on COVID-19 vaccines, safety measures and approval standards, as well as regular updates on the number of Ontarians vaccinated.