The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) is reporting an additional individual case of the U.K. variant of COVID-19 in the region.
The heath unit says the latest case was discovered in an individual who had close contact with a person who is also part of a COVID-19 outbreak at Bradford Valley Care Community.
SMDHU is now investigating if the outbreak in that long-term care home is also due to the U.K. variant of the virus. They are also investigating all other contacts and connections including a curbside-only retail setting.
The outbreak at Bradford Valley was declared on Jan. 14 and as of Saturday, four out of 230 residents and three out of 260 staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
The SMDHU says while the outbreak at the home is “well under control,” they say they need to investigate the possibility that it was caused by the U.K. variant, given that it is more contagious.
Most of the residents at Bradford Valley were vaccinated against COVID-19 on Jan. 15 and all long-term care residents in Simcoe Muskoka district have been offered the first dose of the vaccine as of Jan. 16.
Many staff have also received the first dose and they say “steps are being taken to ensure that all of them will have access to the vaccine at this time.”
The health unit also confirmed Saturday that the U.K. variant was present at Roberta Place in Barrie, which has experienced one of the worst outbreaks of COVID-19 in the province, with 40 people dead due to the virus.