All positive COVID tests in Ontario are now screened for variant strains

Henrietta Brewer
February 4, 2021

We now have 1,192 COVID-19 patients in the hospital with 341 people in the ICU and 252 in the ICU on a ventilator.

Durham is one of 13 more public health units opening on Monday.

The results of that survey will be presented at a pandemic briefing later today.

So far there have been 152 confirmed cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first detected in the United Kingdom and one case of the B 1.351 variant first detected in South Africa.

Local public heath units still maintain the authority to close schools for in person learning if they feel it is required to protect their communities.

The variant that emerged in the U.K previous year has been tied to a worsening wave of infections in Europe.

All students in Ontario began January with online learning as part of the provincial lockdown.

The Simcoe-Muskoka Health Unit also reported that 90 cases of the United Kingdom variant had been confirmed in the region as of Thursday, with 57 other likely cases that were awaiting test results.

Ontario's seven-day average for number of cases reported is 1,599.

Yet the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario said the measures are not sufficient, especially in light of the presence of a highly contagious COVID-19 variant.

Closed since the Christmas break, schools in Toronto will be permitted to open on February 16, the province announced Wednesday - bringing with it a new suite of precautions and rules meant to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.

The province reports almost 64,500 tests completed, more than double the almost 28,600 tests completed two days ago.

The large number of COVID-19 infections in some places makes it more likely for new variants of the virus to emerge. Of those patients now in hospital, 323 are in intensive care and 241 require a ventilator.

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