TORONTO – COVID-19 – Toronto Public Health is confirming that the first cases of the Brazilian and South African variants of the COVID-19 have been detected in the city.
Officials on Sunday reported that a patient who had recently travelled to Canada, and into Toronto from Brazil has tested positive for the P.1 COVID-19 mutation.
That individual is hospitalized.
Health officials have also confirmed the first instance in a case of the B.1.351 mutation, which is known as the South African variant of the virus.
This person according to Toronto Public Health officials has no recent travel history and has had no known contact with anyone who has recently traveled.
Scientists and medical professionals are concerned that these variants are more transmissible than the original coronavirus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevent (CDC) has indicated that research is ongoing to determine more about these variants to better understand how easily they might be transmitted and the effectiveness of currently authorized vaccines against them.
As of February 6, 2021, there are 27 confirmed variant of concern cases in Toronto. TPH is investigating and managing these cases.
At this time Ontario’s State of Emergency and stay-at-home order remain in effect. TPH advises Torontonians to be extremely mindful of time spent outside your household with anyone who doesn’t live with you. Necessary trips outside home should be kept as brief as possible and for purposes defined in the Province’s Stay at Home order, designed to save lives, stop the spread of COVID-19, prevent the hospital system from becoming overwhelmed and protect vulnerable populations and those who care for them. Please think through what steps you can take to keep trips outside the home as low-contact as possible, for your own protection and the protection of others. Wearing a mask remains a valuable and vital tool for self-protection in public and particularly at work.