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BREAKING: First case of COVID-19 confirmed in Algoma

APH says the individual returned to Algoma from the United States on March 15
File photo

This evening Algoma Public Health confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in the Algoma region.

A woman in her 50s returned to Algoma on March 15, 2020 from the United States. She developed respiratory symptoms and notified Algoma Public Health (APH) on March 16, 2020. APH facilitated EMS transportation to Sault Area Hospital for testing the same day.

EMS and hospital staff took all necessary infection prevention and control precautions. Following testing, the patient was discharged home where she remains in self-isolation, following public health guidance and monitoring.

Any Algoma resident who flew on Delta 4212 into Chippewa County International Airport on March 15, 2020 at approximately 10:45 p.m. are asked to contact Algoma Public Health or their local public health authority.

“Given the transmission of the virus around the world, having a confirmed case in our region is not unexpected,” said Dr. Jennifer Loo, associate medical officer of health. “Across Algoma communities, our health professionals and partners across all sectors have been preparing for COVID-19.  Now, more than ever, we are asking all Algoma citizens to help prevent the spread of this virus, especially through the use of social distancing measures.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health continue to advise all travellers to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving back in Canada from international travel.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath).

To protect loved ones and those around them, Algoma residents who are feeling sick should stay home until they no longer have any symptoms.

  • If you are feeling unwell and have recently returned from travel,
    • Take a self-assessment online using the Ministry of Health self-assessment tool
    • Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
    • Consult your family physician or nurse practitioner
    • Call Algoma Public Health at 705-759-5404 or TF 1-866-892-0172, ext. 5404
    • If you need immediate medical assistance, please call 911, and tell first responders about your symptoms and any recent travel, so that appropriate precautions can be put in place.

To help protect the capacity of our Algoma clinics and hospitals so that they can continue to care for those who need urgent treatment every day, please understand that COVID-19 testing is not recommended or appropriate for everyone.

COVID-19 testing is not helpful if you are not sick and have no symptoms.

To reduce the spread of germs including the flu and the COVID-19 APH recommends that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Practice social distancing by avoiding close contact with people outside your immediate families. This means staying two metres apart from others while at work, and while running errands or attending appointments in the community. Learn more about social distancing

We continue to encourage people to connect with trusted sources for COVID-19 information including the following websites:

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