COVID-19 Variant Changes Case and Contact Management

The higher transmission rate seen with the new strains of COVID-19 in Ontario has prompted province-wide changes to case and contact management.

Current reporting indicates that the incubation period for these variant strains can be shorter, resulting in rapid transmission; therefore, early containment is essential.

Changes include a revised definition of high-risk contacts to reflect the increased risk of transmission. Additionally, high-risk contacts and their household will be asked to follow more rigorous self-isolation and testing protocols.

These changes will affect case and contact management in many different settings, such as workplaces and schools and will further support limiting transmission in these environments. The Grey Bruce Health Unit’s case and contact management team will provide all required information for all contacts and cases.

Variants include the B.1.1.7 (501Y.V1), identified in the United Kingdom; the 501Y.V2 variant, identified in South Africa; and the P.1 variant, first identified in Brazil. To date, none of the new variants have been identified in Grey Bruce.

Public Health is the lead in all outbreaks and case management. Public Health will contact you if you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, based on a thorough risk assessment completed only by Public Health. Determining who is a close contact is a decision that only Public Health can make.