UK COVID-19 Variant Seems To Be Spreading In York Region Without Connection To Travel

The more contagious U.K. COVID-19 variant appears to be circulating in parts of York Region.

Patrick Casey, director of communications at York Region Public Health, said to Barrie Today that some of the new infections have not been linked to travel.

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At this time, the three individuals from Georgina and Richmond Hill have been confirmed with no connection to travel.

These are in addition to the four other cases in King Township linked to a person who had travelled recently to the U.K.

“This serves as an important reminder all individuals arriving from international travel must self-isolate for 14 days,” Casey said.

Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Barbara Yaffe said earlier this week that the new variant is “at least 56% more transmissible.”

As of January 12, the province had recorded 14 cases of this variant. However, Dr. Yaffe said it’s “very likely” that there are more they’re not aware of.

This strain poses “a very serious concern that the vaccine will not be able to address quickly enough,” she said.

Canada’s first U.K. variant case was discovered in Ontario’s Durham Region on December 26. According to Casey, the first case in York Region was subsequently discovered on January 2.

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