Middlesex-London Health Unit reports first student case of coronavirus variant at local school

The Middlesex-London Health Unit (MLHU) reported its first student case of a coronavirus variant at a London school, Sunday evening.

The health unit was notified Saturday of a COVID-19 case at Saunders Secondary School that screened positive for a variant of concern, it said in a news release. The variant has not yet been identified. 

“The Saunders Secondary School community is being notified about the positive screen for a Variant of Concern today and public health staff will follow up with close contacts of the case who were identified previously to ensure they have sought testing and have maintained their quarantine,” MLHU said.

No additional classes will be cancelled and the school will remain open, the news release reads.

The health unit said all COVID-19 positive tests are now screened to identify the possible presence of one of the more highly transmissible variants of concern.

“The tests that screen positive for a variant are analyzed further to confirm the strain,” it said.

There have now been 19 positive screens for variants of concern and four variant- confirmed cases, according to the MLHU’s daily dashboard.

“All positive tests in Ontario are screened to determine whether one of the variants is present,” said Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health with the MLHU.

“Our advice to close contacts of this particular case, and their families remains the same; get tested, monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 and limit the time you spend out in the community,” Summers said.

Meanwhile, the MLHU reported 33 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths over the weekend.

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