Test results confirm the first COVID-19 variant in Grey Bruce.
The individual with the new variant is from another health unit and is self-isolating locally. Potential risk to the public during the trip to the location of isolation was mitigated. The Grey Bruce Health Unit Case and Contact Management Team is monitoring the individual’s progress.
Current reporting indicates that the incubation period for these variant strains can be shorter, resulting in rapid transmission; therefore, early containment is essential.
To address the higher transmission rate seen with the new strains of COVID-19, Ontario has adopted a six-point strategy to stop the spread of the new variants. The plan includes mandatory on-arrival testing of international travellers, enhanced screening and sequencing to identify the new variants, maintaining public health measures to keep people safe, strengthening case and contact management to track the spread of new cases, enhanced protections for vulnerable populations, and leveraging the latest data to inform public health decisions.
Changes include a revised definition of high-risk contacts to reflect the increased risk of transmission. Additionally, high-risk contacts and their household will be asked to follow more rigorous protocols.
Public Health is the lead in all outbreaks and case management. Public Health will contact you if you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, based on a thorough risk assessment completed only by Public Health. Determining who is a close contact is a decision that only Public Health can make.
The new variants are a reminder to everyone to follow the 3 W’s to reduce transmission of COVID-19 – Wash hands frequently, Watch distance (ideally 6ft), and Wear face covering correctly.