As contact tracing continues, the Northwestern Health Unit is trying to figure out how a high school student in Dryden contracted the UK variant of COVID-19.

At this point, the case isn't linked to out of region travel which is alarming to public health officials.

"[This] is concerning and suggest they may have acquired this variant within the community," said Dr. Kit Young Hoon, Medical Officer of Health at the Northwestern Health Unit.

To date, three cases of the UK variant of COVID-19, which spread easier and more quickly and has a slightly higher death rate, have been found in Dryden.

The first case of the UK variant was reported on February 26, with the second case, which was linked to the first, being reported on March 12.

At this time, three classrooms have been closed at Dryden High School out of an abundance of caution. 

The health unit warns that there could potentially be widespread transmission in the community of Dryden and urges anyone with even one symptom to get tested for COVID-19.

Contact information for Dryden Assessment Centre:

• 223-3737

• assess@drhc.on.ca