Statement from Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, on new positive case of COVID-19 in Toronto
Today, I spoke with the media regarding a new positive case of COVID-19 in Toronto that was identified yesterday. As we have a very mobile population, with a lot of travel between Canada and China, it is not surprising to learn of this new case. It is also likely that we may see more individuals presenting with symptoms and a travel history to affected areas. However, at this time the local risk to our community remains low, and I will let you know directly if this changes.
This newly identified positive case, who recently arrived in Toronto after travelling to China, had an intermittent cough that was improving. The individual wore a mask during their travel. On arrival in Toronto, the person was given instructions at the airport to contact Ontario’s Telehealth information line. Upon contacting Telehealth and describing a history of travel to the affected area, a referral to hospital was made. The person presented immediately to the hospital and after completing a thorough medical assessment, COVID-19 testing was initiated. After that, the patient was discharged and is presently recovering well at home in isolation. Since arriving in Toronto, the individual has had very limited exposure to others.
My staff are following up directly to connect with this person to monitor their symptoms. We will clear the person as non-infectious when two tests, taken 24 hours apart, show that this person no longer has any virus. My team is also following up with close contacts of this newly identified case. This latest case shows the system is working to keep people safe and the risk to Toronto residents remains low.
To date, in addition to this new case, there have been two other confirmed cases reported in Toronto. The two earlier people who were previously diagnosed with COVID-19 have since recovered from their illness. We were pleased to learn of this good news. At this time, I ask our community to continue to respect the privacy of people as they recover from this illness and also once they return to their regular activities.
We continue to work with our provincial and federal health colleagues along with the airports as part of our response efforts. As mentioned previously, I encourage you to visit credible, evidence-based sources to get the facts. We continue to update our website frequently, Toronto.ca/coronavirus (https://www.Toronto.ca/coronavirus), as new facts are confirmed. Residents can also call our hotline 416-338-7600 to ask questions. Translation is available in many languages.