Residents of a condominium in Mississauga, Ont., will be tested after a cluster of 5 instances of the coronavirus variant first recognized in South Africa was found on the constructing.
The widespread floor-by-floor testing will be out there for all residents of the constructing “out of an abundance of caution,” and to stop any additional speedy unfold of the B1351 variant, mentioned Dr. Lawrence Loh, Peel Region’s medical officer of well being.
“We are trying to find every possible case that might be in the building at this point in time and ensure that this is being contained,” he informed CBC News Monday.
“We’re essentially trying to identify how the transmission may have occurred but I think what’s very concerning about this specific situation is that the cases involved do not appear to know each other, have not appeared to have significant close contact and don’t report it in the extensive interviews we’ve done with them.”
Loh mentioned there is trigger for concern that the unfold of the variant was by way of widespread components within the constructing reminiscent of corridors and elevators.
Loh mentioned 1,800 persons are impacted — together with residents and workers on the condominium — and so they have obtained a letter from Peel Public Health to make them conscious of the scenario.
“Given that the 1351 variant has not been detected elsewhere in the Region of Peel and is not necessarily circulating widely in the province of Ontario, this is an attempt to really try to get ahead of the variant,” he mentioned.
While the floor-by-floor testing is voluntary, Loh mentioned it’s “highly recommended.”
The testing will be carried out on Monday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.
The province’s first case of the B1351 variant was detected in Peel Region on Feb. 1. As of Sunday, the province has seen six instances of the B1351 variant and 303 instances of another highly transmissible variant referred to as B117, which was first detected within the United Kingdom.
The province introduced on Friday that stay-at-home measures would raise for 27 different well being items on Tuesday, permitting them to transfer again to Ontario’s colour-coded pandemic response framework.
Toronto, Peel and York areas, and the North Bay-Parry Sound district will stay below the present shutdown till not less than Feb.22, in accordance to the province.
“Even as the province moves toward the return to the provincial framework on Feb. 22, we need to be very clear that any reopening or loosening of measures at this point in time risks explosive growth to the variant and we must be very careful,” mentioned Loh.