Toronto South jail faces outbreak of 70 COVID-19 cases, more than half linked to variant of concern

Toronto Public Health says as of Tuesday morning, 70 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been linked to the Toronto South Detention Centre. Of those, 36 have screened positive for a variant of concern. 

Toronto Public Health says it's investating all cases and their contacts to prevent further spread

The outside of the Toronto South Detention Centre. Some 70 positive COVID-19 cases have been linked to the facility, Toronto Public Health says. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press)

Toronto South Detention Centre is facing an outbreak of 70 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 36 are linked to a variant of concern, according to the city's public health agency. 

Toronto Public Health says the results are a result of site-wide testing at the facility. 

It says Public Health Ontario is now conducting whole genome sequence to confirm the variant of concern, the results of which are not yet available. 

Another individual who is not linked to the current outbreak at the facility has also screened positive for a variant of concern, TPH says. There are also two other individuals who also screened positive for a variant of concern, who are not Toronto cases and are being managed by another heath unit.

The cases follow and earlier outbreak in December at the same facility, when 54 inmates tested positive for COVID-19

TPH says it works with correctional facilities across Toronto to provide guidance for implementing appropriate infection prevention and control measures.

The agency says it will investigate all cases and their contacts, with the help of the facility, to prevent further spread of the virus.