Published Monday, February 1, 2021 2:15PM EST
Last Updated Monday, February 1, 2021 2:20PM EST
In a news release issued on Monday afternoon, public health officials confirmed that the two cases have been linked to an outbreak at Belmont Meats in North York and additional testing will be conducted to confirm that the cases are in fact the more transmissible variant, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom.
According to Toronto Public Health, there have been 78 cases linked to the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility so far.
"There is also evidence of secondary transmission of the variant in household member cases associated with an employee of the workplace," public health officials said in a news release.
There is currently no evidence to suggest that any of the cases identified in the outbreak had recently travelled outside of the country or had contact with a person with a recent travel history.
The meat production facility, which does not have any public-facing operations, voluntarily closed on Jan. 28, two days after public health staff began an investigation into a possible outbreak.
Dr. Eileen de Villa said Monday that there are 14 confirmed cases of the variant in Toronto to date.
A spokesperson for York Region also said Monday that officials have now confirmed a total of 39 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, including three cases involving children between the ages of five and nine.
Four cases are in the Township of King, four are in Georgina, five are in Richmond Hill, 12 are in Vaughan, three are in Newmarket, and 11 are in Markham.
According to officials, 24 unique households in York Region are associated with the variant cases and only 10 of the cases remain active.
The province says a total of 69 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant have been confirmed in Ontario.
The first case of the B.1.351 variant, which was first detected in South Africa, has now been confirmed in Ontario, the province's chief medical officer of health confirmed Monday.
The case involves a person in Peel Region who had no travel history or contact with a person who has recently travelled.