BREAKING: Ontario’s first case of the South African COVID-19 variant has been found in Mississauga

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Published February 1, 2021 at 8:39 pm

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Today (Feb. 1), the province and Peel Public Health (PPH) announced that Ontario’s first recorded case of the B.1.351 (South African) variant of COVID-19 was discovered in the Region of Peel. 

PPH says the variant was found in an adult male living in Mississauga, adding that he has not travelled and is recovering at home.

Peel currently has seven confirmed cases of variants of concern, including six cases of the B.1.1.7 (UK) variant.

“However, with the newly announced aggressive testing now underway through Public Health Ontario labs, this number is expected to increase,” PPH said in a statement. 

“While these VOC are aggressive, it is important to remember that they are still COVID-19 – they are not a new disease and the actions we take every day to distance, mask and stay home will help stop the disease. Now is the time for residents, businesses and agencies to double-down on these actions to break chains of transmission and save lives. ” 

PPH says it’s is working with the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and other local health providers to monitor the situation.  

“I am extremely concerned about the news of this variant in our community, especially with no history of travel. We are starting to see our cases plateau and community spread of this variant may change this suddenly,”  said Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel’s Medical Officer of Health. 

“I urge all residents to continue to strictly follow public health guidelines and help break the chains of transmission.”

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