Canada Post COVID outbreak keeps growing; Public Health Ontario is testing its positive samples for highly contagious U.K. and South Africa variants

The COVID-19 outbreak at a Canada Post facility in Mississauga continues to grow despite 350 workers being under self-quarantine, and public health officials say they’re trying to determine if the outbreak was caused by variant strains.On Monday, Canada Post spokesperson Phil Legault said 212 employees at the Gateway East facility had tested positive since Jan. 1.That’s up from the 190 cases confirmed Sunday.Legault said proactive, on-site testing by Peel Public Health is being ramped up this week.Peel’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh said his department is sending positive samples from the outbreak to Public Health Ontario (PHO) to determine if any were caused by variant COVID strains. Among the variants PHO’s test can find are the highly-infectious strain discovered in the U.K., and the one discovered in South Africa, which some studies have shown might be resistant to some vaccines.“We are always concerned about fast-moving spread, so we will be seeking advanced testing for variants through the Public Health Ontario labs,” Loh said in an emailed statement.While Gateway East is expected to keep running despite the outbreak, Legault said Canada Post is still warning its customers to expect delays because of the problems at its largest facility in the country.“Given the significance of Gateway in our network, we are implementing contingency plans to minimize the impact on customers and employees. Gateway will continue to operate; however, we’re advising commercial customers and Canadians that there could be delays with their parcels,” Legault said.

Canada Post COVID outbreak keeps growing; Public Health Ontario is testing its positive samples for highly contagious U.K. and South Africa variants

The COVID-19 outbreak at a Canada Post facility in Mississauga continues to grow despite 350 workers being under self-quarantine, and public health officials say they’re trying to determine if the outbreak was caused by variant strains.

On Monday, Canada Post spokesperson Phil Legault said 212 employees at the Gateway East facility had tested positive since Jan. 1.

That’s up from the 190 cases confirmed Sunday.

Legault said proactive, on-site testing by Peel Public Health is being ramped up this week.

Peel’s Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lawrence Loh said his department is sending positive samples from the outbreak to Public Health Ontario (PHO) to determine if any were caused by variant COVID strains. Among the variants PHO’s test can find are the highly-infectious strain discovered in the U.K., and the one discovered in South Africa, which some studies have shown might be resistant to some vaccines.

“We are always concerned about fast-moving spread, so we will be seeking advanced testing for variants through the Public Health Ontario labs,” Loh said in an emailed statement.

While Gateway East is expected to keep running despite the outbreak, Legault said Canada Post is still warning its customers to expect delays because of the problems at its largest facility in the country.

“Given the significance of Gateway in our network, we are implementing contingency plans to minimize the impact on customers and employees. Gateway will continue to operate; however, we’re advising commercial customers and Canadians that there could be delays with their parcels,” Legault said.

Source : Toronto Star More