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An Ontario Health Unit Just Identified 99 New Cases Believed To Be The UK Variant

Officials say "we need to assume that a variant of this virus is everywhere."
Ontario Health Unit Confirms 99 New Cases Of The UK COVID-19 Variant

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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99 individuals who have had a positive first screening test for a variant of concern have been identified. Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit

Most of these new infections have been linked back to the Roberta Place Long Term Care home outbreak, where CP24 reports 127 residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

However, two of the individuals who tested positive had no known link to this outbreak, said the public health unit.

The results are preliminary, said Gardner, and these results have only come from the first of a two-part testing process.

The first part confirmed that the cases are variants of concern.

The second part will confirm exactly which variant is causing the positive results — although SMDH believes it to be B.1.1.7.

"I’m sharing this information because this variant is on the move in our community and the only way it can move is through people," said Gardner.

"We need to assume that a variant of this virus is everywhere and do everything we can to drive it out."

Ontario's public health officials have said that the public must assume that this variant will spread throughout the province.

Ford is urging the federal government to implement a temporary flight ban for countries with new variants of concern. 

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