South African COVID-19 variant identified in North Bay, Ont., outbreak

Authorities in northern Ontario say they’ve confirmed that a COVID-19 variant originally discovered in South Africa has surfaced in North Bay, Ont.

The North Bay Perry Sound District Health Unit, which is contending with a local outbreak, says it’s identified one case of the South Africa-based variant so far, adding the patient is a close contact of an international traveller.

An outbreak at an apartment building in North Bay has seen at least 18 confirmed novel coronavirus variant cases.

Read more: 18 COVID-19 variant cases confirmed as part of North Bay, Ont., apartment building outbreak

North Bay is currently one of four regions that will remain under a provincial stay-at-home order for the coming week in a bid to lower local COVID-19 case counts. It joins other long-standing hot spots of Toronto, Peel Region and York Region.

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The province announced on Friday that stay-at-home measures would lift for 27 other health units on Tuesday, allowing them to move back to Ontario’s colour-coded pandemic response framework.

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The tiered system sets limits on gathering sizes and regulations governing local businesses based on regional case counts and health system capacity.

— With files from Bryan Mullan and Ryan Rocca

Click to play video 'Ontario unveils more reopening details as 3rd wave fears grow' Ontario unveils more reopening details as 3rd wave fears grow

Ontario unveils more reopening details as 3rd wave fears grow

© 2021 The Canadian Press

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