Toronto Public Health is announcing that five COVID-19 cases with coronavirus mutations have been identified in two health care facilities in Toronto. This includes one COVID-19 case that has been confirmed positive for the U.K. variant of concern. TPH is awaiting the lab testing results for the remaining four cases.
TPH is investigating a COVID-19 case that screened positive for a variant of concern mutation at Elm Grove Living Centre, a long-term care home in Toronto. The Public Health Ontario Laboratory is conducting further tests to determine if the case is a variant of concern. This case has no travel history and has not had contact with anyone who has travelled recently. The Elm Grove Living Centre currently has a small and stable COVID-19 outbreak. To date, the outbreak involves three positive residents and eight positive staff members.
TPH continues to work with the Elm Grove Living Centre facility to ensure that all appropriate infection prevention and control (IPAC) measures are in place to limit further spread of the virus. In addition, 95 per cent of residents and 80 per cent of staff have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
TPH is also investigating four cases at Baycrest Hospital that have screened positive for a mutation associated with variants of concern. TPH has been informed that one of these cases has been reported positive for the U.K. variant of concern. The Public Health Ontario Laboratory is conducting further tests to determine if the other cases are also positive for a variant of concern. These cases are part of a current COVID-19 outbreak with 16 positive cases, of which 11 are in-patients and five are staff. TPH continues to work with Baycrest Hospital to reinforce IPAC measures to limit further spread of the virus.
These variants are reported to spread more easily, and may be more resistant to vaccines and more difficult to detect in testing. With the emergence of variants of the novel coronavirus, it is more important than ever that we all follow current public health practices, including limiting contact to household members only, and if you live alone, to have exclusive contact with only one other household. If you must have contact with people outside of your home, take these steps to make your interactions as low-risk as possible: reduce the amount time spent in non-essential contact, stay at least six feet/two metres apart, wear a well-fitting mask, wash your hands often, and stay at home if you are feeling ill.
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