Ontario public health units beef up infection control as U.K. variant spreads


TORONTO — Ontario public health units are taking extra infection control measures as a more contagious COVID-19 variant that emerged in the United Kingdom is detected across the province.

Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington Health has found a case of the variant and is advising anyone who has travelled or had visitors from outside the region to consider getting an asymptomatic test for COVID-19.

The public health unit is extending the isolation period of all confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 to 14 days, expanding the criteria for people considered “close contacts” of an infected person.

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health, which has confirmed at least seven cases of the variant, released a strategy Monday with similar measures aimed at mitigating spread.

It’s increasing testing for residents, visitors and staff at care homes dealing with outbreaks where the variant is suspected, currently two care homes in the region.

Toronto Public Health says the variant has also been detected in the city, and it’s asking congregate care and educational settings to review and audit their COVID-19 protocols.