Case of U.K. coronavirus variant confirmed in Ottawa, provincial health official says

A case of the U.K. coronavirus variant has been confirmed in Ottawa, a provincial health official says, marking the third known case in Canada.

Dr. Vanessa Allen, the chief of microbiology and laboratory science for Public Health Ontario, told Global News about the case in an interview on Sunday.

She said the case involves a person who tested positive for coronavirus after returning from the U.K.

Further details were expected to come from the province later in the day.

Read more: Ontario confirms Canada’s 1st known cases of U.K. coronavirus variant

The news comes just one day after Canada’s first two known cases of the variant were confirmed by Ontario health officials involving a couple in Durham Region who had no known travel history, exposure, or high-risk contacts.

The variant is believed to be more contagious, but it is not believed to cause more severe illness or resistance to the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, officials said.

Allen said it wouldn’t be surprising if more cases are discovered in the coming days.

Read more: Canada reports first cases of U.K. coronavirus variant. Here’s what you need to know

Allen said Ontario has done the additional testing needed to identify different strains of the virus on less than 10 per cent of confirmed cases to date, but expects that to increase shortly as officials look to understand the effects of the variant.

All positive case samples in Ontario are stored and researchers are also now looking to go back and see if previous cases may have been from the U.K. strain, Allen added.

— With files from Abigail Bimman

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