Third provincial case of UK COVID-19 variant discovered in Ottawa

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The virus that causes COVID-19 has been mutating throughout the months of the pandemic but this new variant, called B.1.1.7, has been mutating quicker than expected.

The two people who tested positive did not travel outside of Canada.

The cases are a couple with no known travel history, exposure or high-risk contacts, the province said in a statement.

There are reports that a Vancouver Island resident, who travelled from the United Kingdom on December 15th, tested positive for the new variant.

As of Saturday, Canada has had almost 541,000 COVID-19 cases, with more than 14,700 fatalities due to the virus, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

The health officials said that the couple has been placed in isolation, the same day that Ontario reimposed a lockdown for several weeks due to a surge in cases of coronavirus in the province since early December.

The new coronavirus variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, has been identified in B.C., according to a statement from the provincial health officer and the B.C. Ministry of Health. Case and contact management investigation is underway.

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North York General Health said late Saturday that it was "working intensively" to control a serious outbreak at Tendercare Living Centre in Scarborough, Ont., where 116 residents and 77 staff have the virus.

Because of this, "British Columbians everywhere must continue to be cautious and follow all (provincial health officer) orders and guidelines, stay close to home, avoid non-essential travel, practice safe, physical distancing and wear a mask when in public indoor spaces", it continues.

Once again the Federal Government was asked to implement testing at Toronto Pearson International Airport, or the province would.

"Regardless of whether federal support is forthcoming, the Ontario government is prepared to act on its own to implement an airport testing program", the Ontario government said on Saturday.

The Vancouver Coastal Health authority says no new admissions and transfers will be allowed at this time.

The province has reported more than 2,000 cases 13 days in a row, including 2,005 new cases on Sunday and 2,142 new positive tests on Saturday.

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