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First case of COVID-19 variant detected in Toronto's homeless shelter system

Last Updated Feb 13, 2021 at 2:03 pm EST

Exterior view of the Maxwell Meighen Centre, a shelter funded by the City of Toronto and operated by The Salvation Army. GOOGLE MAPS

Toronto Public Health is confirming that a person has tested positive for the first COVID-19 variant in the city’s shelter system.

Officials say the individual tested positive for the unnamed variant at the Maxwell Meighen Centre on Sherbourne Street, a city-funded shelter run by the Salvation Army.

TPH says further testing is underway to identify the variant. They did not specify whether a shelter user or staff member is the one who tested positive.

Currently, eight people at the shelter have tested positive for COVID-19 and all have been sent to isolate at a dedicated recovery site in the city.

Ontario has confirmed 301 cases of the COVID-19 variant across the province – 297 are of the UK variant, three of the South African variant and one of the Brazilian variant, which was found in a Toronto resident last weekend.

The news comes on the heels of confirmation that 43 clients and staff at Seaton House have also been diagnosed with COVID-19 since an outbreak was declared there back on Jan. 21st.

Other city-run shelter facilites dealing with COVID-19 outbreak include Dixon Hall, Warden Woods Community Centre and the Salvation Army.

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