Public Health Sudbury & Districts issued the following press release late Tuesday evening:
Today, Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts. The male in his 50s presented himself to the emergency department at Health Sciences North on March 7, 2020.
The hospital took all necessary precautions and followed standard operating procedures, including infection control, testing, and assessment. Following testing, the patient was discharged home where he remains in self-isolation, following Public Health direction. The patient has experienced cough and shortness of breath (difficulty breathing).
While the Public Health investigation is ongoing, it is known that on March 2 and 3, this individual attended the PDAC (Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada) 2020 convention in Toronto. Public Health Sudbury & Districts is actively engaged in follow up and is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and the local health system.
“Having a confirmed case in our area is not unexpected given the transmission of this virus around the world,” Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury & District Medical Officer of Health. “Although this is concerning, as a community and as a health system, we have been preparing for COVID-19. Our focus is on breaking the chain of transmission to limit the spread of infection and as a precautionary measure, we are asking those who attended PDAC 2020 to monitor for symptoms for 14 days,” said Dr. Sutcliffe.
The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ministry of Health advise all travellers to monitor their health for fever, cough, and difficulty breathing for 14 days after arriving back in Canada. If symptoms develop within 14 days, returning travellers are directed to self-isolate as quickly as possible and immediately call their health care professionals or public health to make arrangements to be tested.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath). Complications from the COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.
IMPORTANT: If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, call Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1.866.797.0000 (TTY 1.866.797.0007) or Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited. If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead and tell them that you have a respiratory illness. You may be asked to wear a mask while waiting for or receiving treatment to prevent the spread of illness. If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.
At this time, the virus is not circulating locally. However, this is a rapidly changing situation requiring that our agency, community, and individuals be prepared for the potential wider spread of the infection in the community.
Visit phsd.ca/COVID-19 for information about how you can prepare for the spread of COVID-19, how to monitor your health, and what to do if you think you are sick. For additional information, please call Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200).