COVID-19 variants detected in northern Ontario health units

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Cases of COVID-19 variants have been detected in at least three public health units in northern Ontario.

The province has detected dozens of cases of the variant that first emerged in the U.K. and one of the variant that was first detected in South Africa but all had previously been in southern regions.

The public health unit covering the Sudbury, Ont., region says it has confirmed one case of the variant that emerged in the U.K.

Public Health Sudbury and Districts says three other likely variant cases are being investigated.

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit says it’s also confirmed its first variant case with tests underway to determine the exact strain.

And the Porcupine Health Unit has confirmation of a possible variant case linked to a long-term care outbreak in Kapuskasing, Ont.

The variants are believed to be more infectious and health officials have said they might also cause more severe illness.

The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press