Three cases of the U.K. COVID-19 variant have been found in Peel Region.
Peel’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh confirmed the information today although he did not say where the cases are being treated.
As the name implies, the variant originated in the United Kingdom and has been slowly spreading around the world. This strain of the coronavirus is considered more contagious and possibly prove to be a more deadly version of COVID-19.
Dr. Loh said in all three instances here, the U.K. variant was contracted through travel or the infected person coming into contact with someone who has returned from being abroad.
He said there is cause for concern, but added that the spread of the variant greatly depends on the measures taken to stop transmissions.
“By virtue of the variants being in our community and possibly circulating, we need to make sure we are sticking to the precautions as much as possible,” he said. “I think that at this point in time if we start to let down our guard and increase our contact interactions then we will potentially see more spread of this variant.”
Dr. Loh pointed to the recent cases in Simcoe County where the UK variant has spread through a Barrie long-term care home resulting in the deaths of 46 people.
“The outbreak that we saw in Simcoe reflects that there is community transmission occurring,” he said. “And knowing that there is still interconnections going on across the Greater Toronto Area, certainly there is a cause for concern.”