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WARNING! New Variant of COVID-19 found in LGL Region

MEDIA RELEASE:

Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit

March 3, 2021

The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit was notified by Public Health Ontario that a resident of the area has been identified to have screened positive for a variant of concern (VOC).  This is the first person in the community to have a COVID-19 variant of concern.

Effective February 3, 2021, every new COVID-19 positive specimen has been screened for known VOCs in Ontario. Those specimens that screen positive go on for further testing to confirm which mutation lineage has been found. 

 “The news of a screened positive variant of concern locally reinforces how important it is to continue following public health guidance very carefully.” said Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Paula Stewart. “It is important that we remember that we are all in this together. If our community is safe our schools will be safe. We must all continue to work together, stay vigilant, and follow the public health measures to keep COVID-19 from spreading in LGL.”

All public health measures are key to preventing the spread of COVID-19 and variants:

  • Stay home as much as possible and to limit close contact (no masks and closer than 2m) to your own household (the people you live with)
  • Stay local and avoid travel outside the region
  • Wear a face covering: Minimum of 2 layers of material; 3 will provide further protection.
  • Stay 2 metres apart from others, especially in large stores like grocery stores
  • Wash your hands Twenty (20) seconds for regular hand hygiene or use hand sanitizer often
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes into a tissue or your arm
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Work from home, if possible
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19: See the list of symptoms on the assessment tool.

While research suggests that VOCs are more transmissible and may have the potential for more severe illness, so far the evidence suggests that the Health Canada-approved vaccines will still be effective against them.