First COVID-19 variant case discovered in Brant County

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Coronavirus: Variants raise concern over potential 3rd wave in Ontario – Feb 16, 2021

Public health says the first COVID-19 variant case has arrived in Brant County after a resident with no travel history tested positive in early February.

A spokesperson for the Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) says the resident has already recovered from the affliction and the lineage of the variant is in a lab being examined.

Officials have not yet determined which of three possible variants discovered in Canada it may be.

Read more: Ontario reports 847 new coronavirus cases, 10 more deaths

“We understand the detection of a new variant of COVID-19 may generate some concern in the community, but the emergence of variants is somewhat expected in pandemics like this one,” acting medical officer of health Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke said in a statement on Thursday morning.

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“The news of a screened positive variant of concern locally reinforces how important it is to continue following public health guidance.”

As of Wednesday, Ontario had confirmed 348 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, in the province. The province also has 10 cases of the B.1.351 variant, first identified in South Africa, and one of the B.1.1.28 variant, first identified in Brazil.

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The variants are believed to spread more easily and faster based on recent modelling and epidemiological studies. So far, there is no evidence to suggest that the current Health Canada-approved vaccines will be any less effective against new variants.

Urbantke says the BCHU has lowered thresholds for determining high-risk contacts and augmented asymptomatic testing recommendations amid the discovery of variants in Ontario.

Brant County reports four new COVID-19 cases, active cases up

The Brant County Health Unit reported four new COVID-19 cases on Thursday with active cases increasing by two day over day to 29.

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Read more: First case of the more contagious U.K. COVID-19 variant arrives in Hamilton, says public health

Public health has declared its first coronavirus outbreak of the new school semester at Ryerson Heights elementary in Brantford. The surge involves a single student case.

Outbreaks continue at the John Noble LTCH and a corporate office with three cases.

BCHU declared an outbreak involving a construction site with six cases among workers resolved as of Wednesday.

Public health says more than 4,500 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the region with more than 1,914 people having completed their vaccinations as of Feb. 18.

The county has had 1,414 coronavirus cases and 12 virus-related deaths since the pandemic began last March.

The region is now in the orange-restrict level of the province’s COVID-19 response framework as of Tuesday.

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