Coronavirus: Variant of concern identified in positive test from Saunders Secondary School student

Saunders Secondary School in London, Ont. Google Maps

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) says the positive COVID-19 test of a student at Saunders Secondary School has screened positive for a variant of concern.

In a statement issued Sunday afternoon, health officials said the Saunders Secondary School community has been notified about the positive screen and public health staff will follow up with close contacts.

The health unit says no additional classes will be cancelled and the school will remain open.

Read more: 8 new coronavirus cases in London and Middlesex Sunday, 24 in Sarnia-Lambton

As of Sunday, the total number of screened variant positive cases in the region sits at 19, with now five confirmed to involve a variant.

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There’s no word on what the strain is in this case, but the previous four were linked to the variant B.1.1.7, first detected in the U.K.

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MLHU says all COVID-19 positive tests are now screened to identify the possible presence of one of the more highly transmissible variants of concern.

Read more: COVID-19 case at B.C. high school was in close contact with variant, officials say

The tests that screen positive for a variant are analyzed further to confirm the strain.

Health officials say the analysis to confirm a variant-positive test can take several weeks.

Eight new coronavirus cases were reported in London and Middlesex on Sunday. The region’s case total now sits at 6,286.

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