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COVID-19 variant cases in areas near Ottawa rising, says LGL health unit

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit says variant cases are growing in areas close to Ottawa. Global News

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is warning of a significant increase in COVID-19 cases in its regions that border Ottawa.

The health unit says since March 28, it has detected 41 new cases in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville East and 33 new cases in Lanark East.

Read more: Ottawa adds 176 COVID-19 cases as hospitalizations climb

Specifically, Kemptville and Carleton Place have seen the greatest increases in case counts.

A high proportion of the new infections — 17 per cent in Lanark East and 34 per cent in United Counties of Leeds and Grenville East — are variants of concern. The health unit says most of the cases are the B.1.1.7 strain, first identified in the U.K.

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“This variant is able to spread more easily with close contact between people. Symptoms may also be more severe with an increased need for hospital care,” a news release from the health unit read.

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Case counts in Ottawa have been soaring over the last few weeks, with 176 cases reported in the city on Tuesday alone.

There are a total of 77 cases of COVID-19 active in the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark regions and more than 1,800 in Ottawa as of Wednesday.

As variants continue to spread in Ottawa and across the province, the health unit is urging people to limit their contacts to only those in their household and to avoid any gatherings.

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