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A Toronto expert is warning residents that a third wave could see Ontario’s COVID-19 cases get higher than ever before.

Dr. Colin Furness, an assistant professor at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information, told Narcity that Ontario could see higher case counts than ever before due to new COVID-19 variants of concern.

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Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health said on Monday that officials have confirmed the first case of the COVID-19 virus variant B.1.351 — commonly referred to as the South Africa variant — in Ontario.

Dr. David Williams said the confirmed case involves a Peel region resident who had no history of travel and no known contact with a traveller.

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In their latest modelling projections, Ontario officials said that new daily case numbers could get higher again if COVID-19 virus variants in Ontario begin to spread more and more.

Presenting the modelling on Thursday, officials said that the virus variants pose "a very big challenge" for containing the disease.

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The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDH) has announced 99 more possible new cases of the U.K. COVID-19 variant in Ontario, also known as B.1.1.7.

In a statement released Tuesday, medical officer of health Dr. Charles Gardner expressed concern that the B.1.1.7 variant could be more widespread than originally thought.

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The province's top doctors shared new information on COVID-19 virus variants in Ontario today.

In two media briefings held on Monday, Ontario officials mentioned three "primary variants of concern" that are being talked about around the world: the U.K. variant, or B.1.1.7; the Brazil variant, or P1; and the South Africa variant, or B.1.351.

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