Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury & Districts Medical Officer of Health, is reporting a woman in her 70s is the fourth confirmed case of COVID-19 in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts.
As of Monday at 2:00 p.m., there were zero positive COVID-19 cases in the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit coverage area. The Health Unit reports 118 total tests in the district (of which it is aware). Of those, 36 were negative and 82 are pending. There is a four- to six-day turnaround for testing once received by the laboratory due to the current volume.
Public Health Sudbury & Districts (PHSD) says the case is “travel-related and is not related to previously reported cases.”
“We know that this individual wore a mask during all of her air travels and immediately self-isolated as a precaution upon returning to Canada—she carefully followed all current public health direction,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “We are working closely with the individual to identify any contacts who require follow-up from Public Health.”
The individual remains in self-isolation at home where she has been isolated since her return to Canada. She was assessed and tested at Health Sciences North’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre on March 18, where staff took all necessary precautions for infection control, testing, and assessment.
The individual travelled on international and domestic flights.
March 17: Fort Myers, Florida, to Toronto Pearson Airport on Air Canada flight AC1975. Passengers in rows 22 to 26 and flight crew that may have served these rows are considered close contacts of the confirmed case and are directed to self-isolate immediately for 14 days from arrival.
March 17: Toronto Pearson Airport to Greater Sudbury Airport on Air Canada flight AC8611. Passengers in rows 1 to 4 and flight crew that may have served these rows are considered close contacts of the confirmed case and are directed to self-isolate immediately for 14 days from arrival. All other persons on this flight are directed to self-monitor for 14 days and contact Public Health Sudbury & Districts or their local public health authority for assessment and direction.
“With an increase in returning travellers from abroad, it is critical that anyone who travelled outside of the country follow the direction to self-isolate for 14 days from their return. This means going home and staying home. Friends and family of returning travellers need to do any essential shopping, such as for grocery or pharmacy supplies,” said Dr. Sutcliffe. “Do not go to work or public places. This direction is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19.”
Health officials urge the public to continue social distancing (physical distancing) to reduce the opportunity for the virus to spread from person to person, and to protect our health care system and vulnerable populations. Everyone is asked to stay home unless essential to do otherwise and to keep two metres from each other when you must go out.