ALGOMA PUBLIC HEALTH
Late in the evening of Friday, March 27, Algoma Public Health (APH) confirmed the second Algoma resident to test positive for COVID-19.
A woman in her 40s with recent travel to Michigan developed respiratory symptoms on the night of Saturday, March 21. She went to Sault Area Hospital on the late night of March 23 and was tested on March 24.
Hospital staff took all necessary infection prevention and control precautions. Following testing, the individual was discharged home where she remains in self-isolation, following public health guidance and monitoring.
Whenever an Algoma resident tests positive for COVID-19, Algoma Public Health conducts a thorough investigation to determine how they became exposed, and whether anyone else may be at risk of exposure. For the COVID-19 disease, we identify and notify anyone who would have had close contact with the ill individual during the 14 days since they began showing symptoms. We also identify and follow-up with anyone who had close contact with the ill individual during the 48 hours before they got sick.
In this specific situation, Algoma Public Health has identified and notified all the close contacts of this individual. Although this individual did run an errand in Sault Ste. Marie two days before she became ill, there were no close contacts that were identified as a result of that single activity.
"As we prepare to see more people with COVID-19 in Algoma, this is an important reminder that anyone who is returning from recent travel could have been exposed to COVID-19," says Dr. Jennifer Loo, associate medical officer of health. "To protect ourselves, we should all be practicing physical distancing by avoiding close contact with those outside of our immediate families and staying two metres away from other people. To protect our community, returning travellers must stay home for 14 days. And anyone who is ill with even mild symptoms, should stay home."
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.
- Any Algoma resident with possible COVID-19 must stay home for 14 days.
- If you are feeling unwell and have recently returned from travel:
- Take a self-assessment online using the Ministry of Health self-assessment tool https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0
- 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 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 physical 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 physical 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.