In a statement issued Tuesday morning, the ministry of health and social services confirmed that officials had identified the first known case in Quebec of a new COVID-19 variant, known as variant S.

"This person was in contact with a family member who returned to Quebec on December 11, after a stay in the United Kingdom, and who tested positive for COVID-19 on December 13," the ministry says.

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For the moment, there is no need to modify public health recommendations.

Ministry of health and social services

An "investigation showed that the person who travelled had prolonged contact only with the three members of their family, all of whom tested positive for COVID-19 and are in isolation at home. Variant S was identified in one of these individuals."

The ministry added that "public health authorities are following the situation very closely" and will inform the public as new developments on the variant becomes available.

The government also underlined that non-essential travel is "not recommended."

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