Local health officials say the first known case of the U.K. coronavirus variant in Waterloo Region is linked to an outbreak at a long-term care home.
In a news release issued Saturday, officials said the case, which was announced on Friday, is connected to Columbia Forest Long-Term Care Home.
According to Waterloo public health, there have been 13 COVID-19 cases among staff at the facility and three “non-staff cases.” No deaths have been reported. It’s not known if all of those who tested positive in the outbreak have the U.K. strain.
“The outbreak was declared in late December and the individual was identified as a positive case through routine surveillance testing in early January after the outbreak was declared,” the news release read.
“Current infection prevention and control measures are working and the outbreak is well controlled at this time. Our investigation has not identified any increased risk to the community or the long-term care facility in connection to this individual.”
A spokesperson for Waterloo public health told Global News the individual is a staff member at the home.
The U.K. variant case involves a woman in her 30s, who was confirmed to have COVID-19 in early January. Her case is considered resolved.
Officials said she had close contact with someone who travelled internationally and testing has been requested for the person who travelled to see if they also have the variant.
“We do expect further cases will be identified as more variant testing is completed by Public Health Ontario,” the release read.
Ontario officials have previously said that it’s believed the U.K. variant is circulating in the community as some cases in the province have no known links to travel.
The variant is believed to be more contagious and possibly more deadly than other strains of the virus.
The province said there have been 57 confirmed cases of the variant in Ontario.
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