News Release
February 7, 2021

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is reporting that a Toronto resident has tested positive for the P.1 COVID-19 mutation, known as the Brazilian variant of concern. The individual, who is hospitalized, recently travelled from Brazil. This is the first case of P.1 COVID-19 variant of concern reported in Toronto.

TPH is also reporting the first confirmed case of the B.1.351 mutation in a Toronto resident, known as the South African variant of concern. This case has no recent travel history and has had no known contact with anyone who is a returned traveler.

Scientists and medical professionals are concerned that these variants are more transmissible than the original coronavirus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (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.

February 10 at 8:20 a.m. – This release has been updated with reference to CDC proper name.

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Toronto Public Health Media Relations