COVID-19 cell under microscope

Variants of Concern (VOCs)

COVID-19 Variants of Concern are also known as a VOC or Variant of Interest.

What is a COVID-19 Variant?
A variant is a new form of a disease. A diseases like COVID-19 can mutate or change over time.

We are following 3 Variants of Concern (VOCs):
VOCs identified globally and in Ontario include:

  • B.1.1.7 variant first identified the UK
  • B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa
  • P1 variant first identified in Brazil
  • B.1.617 variant first identified in India
    sources is COVID-19 Variant of Concern, Public Health Ontario website.

COVID-19 Variants of Concern are circulating in Ontario, Northern Ontario and the Porcupine Health Unit.

Why are we concerned about the COVID-19 Variants of Concern?
The new variants can spread quickly to others in our workplaces, households and in our community.
We need to stay diligent and continue to protect others who are not vaccinated from COVID-19 and the variants.

If I am vaccinated, I am protected from COVID-19 and the VOCs?

The four COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada, are likely to remain effective against the new fast-spreading variants of the virus but research is needed. We need to protect the youth and others who did not receive vaccine. If you are vaccinated against COVID-19, you can still spread the disease to others.

Learn more from our partners:
Porcupine Health Unit (Web)
Public Health Ontario (Web)
Ontario Health (Web)

Even if you are vaccinated, you still need to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Joint Statement from Porcupine Health and WAHA
Officials in Timmins issue plea for people to stay at home as district’s COVID cases soar (Web)

Listen to Dr. Max Boulet explain the COVID-19 Variants of Concern on Wawatay Radio


If you have any questions regarding COVID-19, call the phone number for your community.

Fort Albany, Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, Peawanuck and Moosonee
Call the Porcupine Health Unit’s branch in Moosonee
1-705-336-2294 x 326
8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Moose Factory
Call the Moose Factory Health Centre
705-658-4220 between
8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Telehealth Ontario
after hours and weekends

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