Skip to content

REPLAY: Sault, Algoma Public Health officials address media as first COVID-19 case confirmed (update)

Joint news conference begins at 10:30 a.m.


Highlights from Wednesday’s joint press conference regarding COVID-19 in the Sault and Algoma region, held at Algoma Public Health (APH) by APH officials and Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano

  • Dr. Marlene Spruyt, APH medical officer of health and CEO, stated Wednesday’s media conference was called prior to APH being made aware of a single, confirmed case of COVID-19 reported in the Algoma region Tuesday evening

  • Dr. Jennifer Loo, APH associate medical officer of health and director of health protection, said “this was not unexpected” in view of the global nature of the virus, adding APH has been working with Sault Area Hospital (SAH), healthcare professionals, first responders, long term care facilities, school boards, post secondary institutions and its 21 Algoma municipalities, including the City of Sault Ste. Marie, regarding preparations for COVID-19 for the past few weeks  

  • The affected individual, a female in her 50s described by Dr. Loo as “an Algoma resident,” developed symptoms of COVID-19 after landing on a flight at Chippewa International Airport March 15, stayed at home and contacted APH March 16. Paramedics transported the woman to SAH and is now continuing to recover at home

  • APH is asking any Algoma resident who flew on Delta 4212 into Chippewa County International Airport March 15 at approximately 10:45 p.m. to contact APH and self isolate at home for 14 days

  • Dr. Loo said this case of COVID-19 was acquired abroad and not within the Sault and Algoma region, adding “at this time, we do not see evidence of local transmission of the COVID-19 virus in Algoma communities” but warned we should not be complacent and exercise social distancing measures

  • ‘Social distancing,’ Dr. Loo said, means avoiding close contact with people outside immediate family members by staying two metres apart from one another, and staying at home if experiencing symptoms

  • Dr. Loo said if one is feeling well, “it is still okay to go about daily activities,” such as going to work if you cannot work at home, going shopping, keeping important appointments and exercising outdoors 

  • Social distancing is the best practice to keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading locally

  • COVID-19 information is available on the APH website

  • Sault Mayor Christian Provenzano said he spoke Tuesday with Ontario’s Deputy Premier Christine Elliott with Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health after Premier Doug Ford declared a state of emergency in Ontario due to COVID-19

  • After closure of some non-essential city services, such as recreational centres, Provenzano said “we are examining others with the expectation we will be further reducing non-essential service levels” and continuing to work with local healthcare agencies

  • Provenzano said “track how you feel,” and to self isolate for 14 days if you are over 70, immune-compromised or have travelled outside Canada in the last 14 days; “we expect a large influx of Saultites back from vacation in the United States in the next few days and weeks, those people “needing to self isolate”

  • COVID-19 information is available online from APH

  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 call Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1 866 797 0000 or Algoma Public Health at 705 759 5404 or Toll Free 1.866.892.0172 ext. 5404

Original information:

The City of Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma Public Health held a joint news conference this morning at 10:30 a.m. to address the current COVID-19 situation in the region.

Both organizations will provide an update as it pertains to the community, initiatives being taken and best practices.

Last night, APH announced the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Algoma.

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