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Officials say the first case of a more infectious new strain of COVID-19 detected in the Waterloo, Ont., region is connected to an outbreak at a long-term care home.

A Region of Waterloo Public Health investigation has traced the patient to another person who travelled internationally.

The region says it expects more cases to emerge as Public Health Ontario completes more tests for the variant.

It’s also confirmed that the variant case is connected to a COVID-19 outbreak declared at Columbia Forest long-term care home late in December.

Provincial officials have said the B.1.1.7 variant, which first emerged in the U.K. last year, is more contagious and may cause more severe illness.

Public Health Ontario has confirmed 57 cases of the variant in the province and regional health officials have said they suspect the number is higher.

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