At a press conference held in Trenton, Ont., Wednesday, Karen Walton, a manager at the Public Health Agency of Canada, said one of the 228 Canadians who were flown by the Canadian government from California tested positive for the virus.
A plane chartered by the Canadian government to repatriate its citizens from a cruise ship previously held off the coast of California following a novel coronavirus outbreak landed at CFB Trenton on Monday.
Those boarding the plane back to Canada were required to pass a screening process before being allowed to board the flight, and anyone exhibiting symptoms of the virus was not permitted to board.
Nine Canadians stayed behind in California, including some crew members who either tested positive for the virus or who needed treatment for other medical conditions. It’s unclear how many of those nine Canadians who stayed behind had tested positive for the virus.
Although the passenger who tested positive in Trenton may not have been showing symptoms at the time, Walton says they tested positive after landing in Canada. Walton says the passenger’s symptoms are mild. She did not reveal any information about the passenger’s identity.
“Due to the high concentration of cases, we knew there was increased possibility that a traveller would test positive,” Walton said. “We have been preparing for a possible case.”
In a news release sent out after Wednesday’s announcement, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, the local public health agency, said the passenger started developing symptoms of the virus during the flight back to Canada.
Walton said public health has established a Red Cross clinic to treat any passengers affected by the virus.
No one from the general public will be in contact with any of the passengers currently being quarantined at the base, Walton added.
“We on the base have absolute confidence in our public health partners, both at the federal and local levels,” said Lt. Col. Philip Marcus, acting wing commander of 8 Wing Trenton. He added that the affected individual is currently being held “in an isolated area within the quarantine zone” at 8 Wing Trenton.
Marcus also said along with the support of public health officials, the base has been receiving “overwhelming support” from the local community.
“I want to extend a heartfelt thank you for those in the community,” Marcus said.
Mayor of Quinte West Jim Harrison spoke at the short press conference, saying the city “stands behind the base at this time.”
“We support the protocol we know they’ve followed,” Harrison said. “Situations that developed became challenging, but we have full confidence in people involved in this situation and the work they’re doing to maintain the health and welfare of all Canadians, and that includes us.”
This case is Canada’s 102nd case of COVID-19, with Ontario’s provincial total coming in at 42.
— With files from Global News’ Hannah Jackson.View link »