First case of COVID-19 variant found at city long-term care home

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The first confirmed case of a variant that causes COVID-19 has been discovered in a worker at a municipally operated Toronto long-term care home, the city announced Thursday.

Officials say an employee at Castleview Wychwood Towers has screened positive for a COVID-19 variant. The worker, who the city says does not have direct contact with residents, was last on shift on Feb. 2.

The city said in a news release that it is "advising the public of this case in the interest of transparency." Known variants of the novel coronavirus are a cause of concern because they are thought to be more transmissible.

"The city is committed to ensuring the health and safety of all residents and their families, as well as the well-being of staff," the release reads. All residents and staff members who could have been potentially exposed were tested Wednesday.

No residents, staff or essential caregivers at the facility are showing any symptoms at this time, according to the city. The news release says about 95 per cent of residents at the home have received their first dose of vaccine, while about 90 per cent have gotten their second dose.

About 75 per cent of staff have been vaccinated, and additional vaccination clinics will be offered as soon as supply becomes available, the city says.