COVID-19 outbreak at Toronto meat plant linked to B117 variant, city says

COVID-19 outbreak at Toronto meat plant linked to B117 variant, city says-Milenio Stadium-Ontario
Toronto Mayor John Tory, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Eileen de Villa, and Toronto Fire Chief and head of Emergency Management Matthew Pegg provide an update on COVID-19 in the city (CBC)

Toronto Public Health (TPH) is reporting a COVID-19 outbreak that’s linked to the B117 variant, the city confirmed Wednesday.

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The outbreak occurred at a meat production facility called Belmont Meats.

Currently, there are 78 confirmed COVID-19 cases linked to the workplace outbreak, with two of those people testing positive for the B117 variant first detected in the U.K. Toronto’s medical officer of health Dr. Eileen de Villa said the city will be conducting more testing in the coming days to see if others were also infected by a coronavirus variant.

The city said there’s also evidence of secondary transmission of the variant in household member cases associated with an employee of the workplace.

At this time, there is no indication that any cases identified in the outbreak had recently travelled or had contact with a person who travelled recently.

Belmont Meats voluntarily closed on Jan. 28, 2021, the city said.

TPH began its investigation on Jan. 26th, after notification of a possible outbreak. The company does not have public-facing operations

According to Monday’s provincial numbers, Toronto has seen 15 cases of the COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. to date.

On Monday, de Villa said the new variants are more transmissible, may make some people sicker, may reinfect people who had COVID-19 and recovered.

She said the vaccines that have been developed seem able to produce an immune response, although sometimes at lower levels.

Over the weekend, two Greater Toronto Area homes banned visitors from Barrie, Ont. a region they called “high alert” for the B117 variant in a bid to keep it out of their facilities.

When it comes to curbing the spread of this new variant, de Villa said strategies that create distance and limit interaction are still successful.

“The measures we are taking are working” de Villa said.

On Monday, the city reported 961 new cases of COVID-19, an over count consequential of data entry changes, de Villa said.

The overall number of patients hospitalized with the virus reached 397. Of that number, 105 are in the ICU.

The city confirmed said 18 more people have died of the virus.

More than 2,400 Torontonians have died after contracting the virus.


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