Northern Ontario COVID-19 tally reaches five cases


On Friday, March 27, the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) has received a positive COVID-19 test result from the Rainy River Assessment Centre. The case had travelled to the U.S.A. and upon returning from travel has been in voluntary self-isolation since that time.

The health unit is doing follow up regarding the case, as per protocols, including the identification and quarantine of any contacts.

“This case shows why self-isolation of returning travellers is so imperative. This person did everything right, and in turn, has protected our communities,” said Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Northwestern Health Unit. “Because this person was responsible and self-isolated, we expect that there will be very few exposed contacts, if any.”

To protect anonymity, no further details about the case will be released

That brings the official total cases on the Northwestern Health Region to three. The first case has been in isolation for 14 days, and has been cleared to resume normal activities. The second was a man in his 20s, who returned form Columbia. An outdated address from northern Ontario was provided for the man, who now resides in southern Ontario. He was not in the north after his trip, and is being followed by his home health unit.

Thunder Bay has three positive COVID-19 tests.

Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health of the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU), confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the TBDHU region on Friday.

A male in his sixties who resides in Thunder Bay was the first confirmed case of COVID-19 for TBDHU. His spouse’s test returned positive yesterday. The couple had returned from a week-long stay in Florida. Upon their return, they remained in isolation at home. Subsequently, both developed symptoms and phoned the TBDHU. They were tested the following day at the COVID-19 Assessment Center operated by the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. The man’s test result was received by TBDHU overnight on March 26.

Friday afternoon, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) received a report of another confirmed case of COVID-19 in the TBDHU region. This is travel related and unrelated to the first case of COVID-19 reported earlier on that day.

An individual in their twenties who returned from the United States approximately two weeks ago developed symptoms while self-isolating at home. They phoned TBDHU and were referred to the COVID-19 Assessment Centre of Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre where they were tested.

“It is clear that people have been taking precautions including self-isolating,” said Dr. Janet DeMille, Medical Officer of Health. “This is important as it helps contain the virus to a group of closely linked individuals and reduces the likelihood of spread in the community.”

The federal Quarantine order that came into effect earlier this week directs all returning international travellers to self-isolate for 14 days. Individuals who develop symptoms during this time can call the NWHU for guidance and referral to assessment and testing as needed.