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Third case of new COVID-19 variant identified in Ontario

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Third case of new COVID-19 variant identified in Ontario

The Ontario government is reporting a third case in Ontario of the newer COVID-19 variant that was first identified in the UK.

The province says the third case is an individual in Ottawa who recently traveled from the UK.

“The Ottawa Public Health Department has informed the individual who is now in self-isolation. Case and contact management investigation is underway,” the province says.

The first two cases of the variant were reported on Saturday, December 26 to be a couple from Durham.

While the province initially reported that the couple had no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts, additional investigation and contact management reportedly revealed that the couple had been in contact with a recent traveller from the UK.

The province says this is “new information not provided in earlier interviews.”

The cases and contacts have been informed and are now in self-isolation as per public health protocols.

“It is critically important that individuals with confirmed cases of COVID-19 provide all history of contacts and contact information to their public health unit,” the province says. “This is crucial to the prevention and control of this infection.”

With three cases stemming from inbound international travel, the province is continuing to call on the federal government to “urgently partner with Ontario to implement testing” at Mississauga’s Pearson Airport, and says it’s prepared to act on its own to implement an airport testing program even without federal support.

Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Ontario’s Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, issued a reminder about the need for arriving international travelers to maintain quarantine for 14 days.

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