COVID-19 variant found in Chatham-Kent for the 1st time

For the first time, a COVID-19 "variant of concern" has been identified in Chatham-Kent.

Man in his 50s remains in federal quarantine, health unit says

Chatham-Kent Public Health says the municipality's first case of COVID-19 involving a variant of concern has been discovered. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press file photo)

A COVID-19 "variant of concern" has been identified in Chatham-Kent.

A man in his 50s who tested positive for the virus was found to have one of the more contagious variants, Chatham-Kent Public Health said in a media release on Friday.

Public health said he arrived in Canada recently and remains in federal quarantine. It's the first appearance in the region of one of the new variants.

The strain of the virus is not yet known as the health unit is awaiting test results.

"It is currently estimated that variants of concern are now approximately five to 10 per cent of cases in Ontario and we expect to receive more of these cases," Dr. David Colby, medical officer of health for Chatham-Kent, said in the release.

"The good news is that public health measures needed to control these new variants are no different."

The discovery comes a day after a variant of concern was identified in Windsor-Essex.

On Thursday, provincial officials presented modelling that said the variant first found in the U.K. will soon dominate.

The report concluded that "aggressive vaccination" and maintaining a stay-at-home order will help avoid a third wave and a third lockdown.

There are 129 active cases of COVID-19 in Chatham-Kent as of Thursday. Eight people have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.


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