York Region Public Health confirm 39 cases of B.1.1.7 variant including 3 in children

By Lucas Casaletto

York Region’s Public Health Unit (PHU) announced 39 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the United Kingdom including three new infections in children aged five to nine years old.

This comes the same day Ontario health officials confirmed the first positive case of the South African (B. variant in a resident from Peel Region.


A spokesperson for the Municipality of York confirmed with 680 NEWS these numbers are accurate as of Monday.

We are very concerned about the UK variant in circulation within York Region; it is important to curb this COVID-19 variant spread as quickly as we can,” said Patrick Casey, York’s Director of Corporate Communications.

“We are expeditiously contacting the close contacts of the cases in order to ensure there isn’t any unwitting transmission happening.”

According to data provided by Ontario’s government, there have been 69 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant since January 31 indicating that more than half of the province’s confirmed infections of the variant first detected in the UK are out of York Region.

Among the 39 cases, 18 are in people aged 20 to 34 and 55 to 54 years old. An additional seven cases were found in an older age group while three cases were discovered in children.

York Region’s PHU reports that 12 of the 39 cases are from Vaughan, followed by 11 in Markham, and five in Richmond Hill.

RELATED: ‘We’re going to have to be on our guard’ – 10 of Ontario’s 34 confirmed COVID-19 variant cases are from Toronto

Health officials say there are 24 unique households associated with the cases as of Monday, with 10 still currently active.

20 of the combined positive infections are from close contact (same household) and local transmission, eight were contracted through close contact, six of them through travel, and five detected through close contact (non-household).

York Municipality says there have not been any confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant in long-term care homes and that none of the variant cases have been hospitalized or resulted in a fatality. 

“This further reinforces the need for everyone to stay home, limit trips outside of your home for essential reasons only and continue following all public health advice,” Casey said. 

“York Region Public Health reminds residents about the importance of providing all history of contacts and contact information if you test positive for COVID-19; this is crucial to the prevention and control of this infection.”

As of today, international travellers will have to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in Ontario at Pearson Airport in Toronto in a bid to stop contagious new variants of the virus from further infiltrating the province.

RELATED: Ontario to start mandatory COVID-19 testing for international travellers Monday, Canada’s still weeks away

The provincial government announced the plan on Friday, the same day the federal government announced a similar program that’s to take effect in the coming weeks.

On Sunday, two Toronto-area retirement homes imposed restrictions on visitors coming from Barrie – a region at the centre of a more potent COVID-19 outbreak as officials in another district said the more contagious U.K. virus variant had surfaced there as well.

Shannex Inc,. confirmed that its two retirement facilities in Toronto and neighbouring Mississauga are barring visitors from communities deemed “high alert” as part of a slate of infection control efforts.

The restriction is currently limited to visitors from Barrie because of the rising number of U.K. variant cases there. Barrie has become the epicentre of the latest phase of the COVID-19 pandemic after confirming the more contagious U.K. virus variant was the cause of a deadly outbreak at Roberta Place; a local long-term care facility.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today