Alberta's chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, updates media on the COVID-19 situation in Edmonton on Friday, March 20, 2020. Two southern Alberta churches and three individuals are to be in a Calgary court today to argue that the province's COVID-19 restrictions "cancel Christmas" and infringe on their constitutional rights. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

U.K. strain of COVID-19 confirmed in Alberta

Alberta has seen its first case of the mutated COVID virus, said Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Monday.

In her daily update Dr. Deena Hinshaw said the strain of virus was brought into the province from someone who had recently arrived from the United Kingdom.

Hinshaw said fortunately the traveller did everything right as far as observing health protocols including self-quarantining when they returned home.

“At this point, there is no evidence there has been any further spread,” she said.

Hinshaw said health officials are closely watching for the variant virus, which early evidence suggests may spread much more easily than the more common form of the virus. Another variant has also recently appeared in South Africa.

Alberta Health Services is recommending that anyone who has been in the United Kingdom or South Africa in the last 14 days get tested.

Health officials have worked with the federal government to get a list of all of the people who have been in those places and will be contacting those in Alberta.

Health officials are also tracking people who were on the same UK flight as the person with the variant, particularly those sitting nearby.

So far, there is no evidence that the vaccine will not be effective on the new variants but scientists are still studying that.



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