Sudbury

North Bay health unit confirms 1st case of COVID-19 Variant first discovered in South Africa

The COVID-19 Variant of Concern first discovered in South Africa has been confirmed in North Bay. The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit confirmed the case, and says it is one of the cases connected to a community outbreak.

North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit already has 20 other COVID Variant of Concern cases

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has confirmed it has one positive case of the COVID-19 Variant of Concern first discovered in South Africa. The individual is one of the cases connected to a community outbreak in North Bay. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

The COVID-19 Variant of Concern first discovered in South Africa has been confirmed in North Bay.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit confirmed the case Saturday, and says it is one of the cases connected to a community outbreak.

The individual who tested positive is a close contact of an international traveler, and is self -isolating.

This is the first known case of the variant of concern first discovered in South Africa, for the health unit. And it is the first of this variant reported in northeastern Ontario.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit currently has 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases with a Variant of Concern first discovered in the UK. Eighteen of those are in the Nipissing District, while two are in the District of Parry Sound. The exact strain of the variant for the two Parry Sound cases has not yet been determined.

"We must stay home and follow public health and safety guidelines," Dr. Jim Chirico, medical officer of health, said in a news release.

"When trips outside the home are required, try to keep them as low-contact as possible, for your own protection and the protection of others," he added.

"We need to stop the spread of COVID-19 Variants of Concern, and if we don't act now, it could be devastating for the entire district."

COVID-19 Variants of Concern are more transmissible than the original coronavirus and research is underway to determine the effectiveness of currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines against them.

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