The first case of a person in British Columbia infected with the British variant COVID-19 has been confirmed.
The individual, who lives in the Island Health area, returned from the UK to British Columbia on December 15 on flight AC855. In quarantine, the individual developed symptoms and was tested immediately.
“The tests confirmed the positive diagnosis on December 19, 2020; a small number of close contacts have been isolated and public health follows them daily, ”read a joint statement from Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Administrator, and Minister of Health Adrian Dix.
“The variant strain was detected by the public health laboratory of the BC Center for Disease Control (BCCDC) in its review of all isolates from people recently returned from a trip to the UK. Whole genome sequencing at BCCDC identified this as the same as the variant seen in the UK An ongoing review could identify more cases in the coming days. ”
“British Columbia continues to support the Canada-wide travel ban on all flights from the UK until January 6, 2021 and urges all British Columbians to continue to avoid all travel not essential to ensure the safety of individuals and communities.
Dix and Dr Henry remind the public that there is no evidence that the variant of the virus is more likely to cause serious illness and that there is no evidence that vaccines approved by Health Canada will be less effective against her.
“However, studies suggest that the COVID-19 variant first identified in the UK can spread faster and easier, which is why British Columbians around the world should continue to be careful and monitor all PHO orders and guidelines, stay close to home, avoid non-essentials Travel, practice safe physical distancing, and wear a mask in indoor public spaces. ”
“All British Columbians should remember that the virus spreads quickly but manifests itself slowly. By staying put, avoiding all non-essential travel, and using our layers of protection, we can reduce the risk of new cases flaring up and keep our communities loved ones safe. ”