Ontario Takes Action to Stop the Spread of COVID-19 Variants

Friday, January 29, 2021

The Ontario government is taking action to stop the spread of new COVID-19 variants throughout the province. Implementing a six-point plan which includes mandatory on-arrival testing of international travellers, enhanced screening and sequencing to identify the new variants, maintaining public health measures to keep people safe, strengthening case and contact management to track the spread of new cases, enhanced protections for vulnerable populations, and leveraging the latest data to inform public health decisions.

Ontario's first COVID-19 UK variant case was confirmed in December and was due to international travel. Since that time, 51 cases of the variant have been confirmed in the province. Evidence shows that the UK variant could be more transmissible. Recent evidence shows Ontarians' efforts to contain COVID-19 are working, with provincial trends in most key public health indicators trending down. However, recent modelling suggests that the UK variant and other new variants remain a significant threat to controlling the pandemic and could become the dominant strain of the virus in the province by March 2021, posing an increased threat to public health and hospital capacity.