Quebec confirms first case of more contagious COVID-19 variant

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL–Quebec’s health minister is confirming the province’s first case of a more contagious COVID-19 variant that was first identified in the United Kingdom.

Christian Dube said today the person who tested positive is a family member of someone who returned from the U.K. on Dec. 11.

The Health Department says the traveller and three members of their family all tested positive, but only one of them has been confirmed to be carrying what’s know as the “S” variant.

The variant was first identified in the U.K. but has since spread to several other countries and has been confirmed by health authorities in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.

Canada’s public health agency says while early data suggests the new variant may be more transmissible, there is no evidence the variant causes more severe symptoms of COVID-19 or impacts vaccine effectiveness.

Meanwhile, Montreal police said today they received nearly 700 calls from citizens who reported people allegedly breaking health orders during the week of Dec. 21 to Dec. 27, and said they issued 34 tickets.