One of the COVID-19 cases in the Lancelot Apartment building outbreak is a variant strain from South Africa.
The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit confirmed the case on Saturday night.
It is the first known case of a variant from South Africa in the region.
The person who tested positive for the Variant of Concern from South Africa has been identified as a close contact of an international traveller and is self-isolating.
“We must stay home and follow public health and safety guidelines. When trips outside the home are required, try to keep them as low-contact as possible, for your own protection and the protection of others. We need to stop the spread of COVID-19 Variant of Concern, and if we don’t act now, it could be devastating for the entire district,” stresses Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health.
As of February 13, 2021, there are 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases with a Variant of Concern in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit region, 18 cases in the Nipissing District and two (2) cases in the District of Parry Sound.
The two COVID-19 cases in the District of Parry Sound with preliminary positive results for a COVID-19 Variant of Concern are not associated with the Community Outbreak in North Bay, and the exact strain for these two cases has not yet been determined.
Scientists and medical professionals are concerned that Variants of Concern are more transmissible than the original coronavirus and research is ongoing to determine the effectiveness of currently authorized COVID-19 vaccines against them.
The Health Unit is reminding residents that anyone can get COVID-19 and Variants of Concern, and to be COVID-19 kind no matter what the situation may be. It is important that individuals feel comfortable seeking care and COVID-19 testing. This may not happen if individuals feel they will be stigmatized and harassed by their own community.
If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek testing or further care. If you need further assistance, call your health care provider or the Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808. If you have severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, you should call 911 and mention your symptoms if you are able.
Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
For more information, please visit myhealthunit.ca/COVID-19.