• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Takes Immediate Action to Stop the Spread of COVID-19 Variants

January 29, 2021

The Ontario government is taking immediate and decisive action to stop the spread of new COVID-19 variants throughout the province. It is implementing a six-point plan which includes mandatory on-arrival testing of international travelers, enhanced screening and sequencing to identify the new variants, maintaining public health measures to keep people safe, strengthening case and contact management to track the spread of new cases, enhanced protections for vulnerable populations, and leveraging the latest data to inform public health decisions. Details of the plan were provided today by Premier Doug Ford, Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health, Solicitor General Sylvia Jones, and Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health. "We welcome the new measures announced by the federal government today, but we need a stop gap to prevent new cases, including variant cases, from arriving in Ontario until those measures are fully in place," said Premier Ford. "That's why our government is taking immediate and decisive action, which includes mandatory testing of incoming international travelers and providing additional layers of protection for the people of Ontario, especially our seniors. Through our six-point plan, we intend to stop this virus in its tracks." Ontario's first COVID-19 UK variant case was confirmed last month and was due to international travel. Since that time, 51 cases of the variant have been confirmed in the province. Evidence shows that the UK variant could be up to 56 per cent more transmissible. Recent evidence shows Ontarians' efforts to contain COVID-19 are working, with provincial trends in most key public health indicators trending down. However,