Ontario Confirms Presumptive Case of COVID-19

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All Protocols Followed and Risk to Ontarians Remains Low

February 23, 2020 5:35 P.M.

TORONTO — Today, Dr. David Williams, Chief Medical Officer of Health, confirmed a new  presumptive positive case of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Toronto. Ontario’s first three cases are all resolved, with each of those patients having two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

On February 21, an adult woman arrived to Canada from China and presented at North York General Hospital’s emergency department at the advice of Telehealth Ontario with an intermittent cough that was improving.

As per established infection, prevention and control protocols, the patient was cared for at North York General Hospital using all appropriate precautions including being isolated and was tested for COVID-19. Being mildly ill, the woman was discharged home and, per protocols, went into self-isolation.

Toronto Public Health was notified and has been following up with the patient since. The Public Health Ontario Laboratory confirmed today (February 23) that the laboratory testing for COVID-19 is presumptive positive, with the sample now having been sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for confirmation.

Given the individual’s clinical assessment and history, there is a low risk that she was infectious. The individual followed all protocols and wore a mask throughout her travels back to Toronto and, since landing, the woman has had very limited exposure to other individuals. The province is coordinating with local public health units to ensure that passengers in close proximity to the woman on the plane are contacted and monitored.

“Because of all the proper protocols and procedures that are in place to contain this virus and exposure to others was limited, I want to assure the public that the risk to Ontarians remains low,” said Dr. Williams. “Protecting the health and well-being of individuals and families across the province remains our top priority and we continue to vigilantly monitor for and contain any and all new cases.”

Dr. David Williams and Dr. Barbara Yaffe, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Health, will be joined by Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health for Toronto, to provide an update on the situation at a 9:00 a.m. briefing tomorrow (February 24) at the Queen’s Park media studio.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.