More COVID-19 cases announced across Ontario, provincial total now at 42

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML

Ontario health officials say five more cases of the new coronavirus disease, known as COVID-19, have been confirmed on Wednesday, bringing the province’s total to 42.

The province’s 38th coronavirus case is a woman in her 30s who reported to Mackenzie Health in York Region. She had a recent travel history to Egypt. The woman is listed in self-isolation.

A man in his 30s is Ontario’s 39th case. He presented himself at Toronto Western Hospital with travel history to the U.S. and is currently in self-isolation.

The 40th case is a man in his 40s who went to Ottawa Hospital with symptoms and had recently travelled to Austria.

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The province’s 41st case is a woman in her 30s who attended Hamilton Health Sciences with a travel history to the U.S. She is listed as self-isolating.

According to hospital’s website, the woman is a physician from the Juravinski Cancer Centre who underwent testing on March 9 after experiencing symptoms. She was officially diagnosed with COVID-19 the following day.

“She was working at the Juravinski Cancer Center the afternoon of March 9 and saw patients and interacted with colleagues and staff. Those individuals are being contacted,” Hamilton Health Sciences said.

In an evening update Wednesday, officials confirmed the province’s 42nd case of the new coronavirus involving a woman in her 40s who recently travelled to the U.S. She presented herself to St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Toronto and is now listed as being in self-isolation.

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A man in his 50s from Sudbury who recently attended a convention in Toronto was confirmed late Tuesday night as having COVID-19. His form of transmission is “pending” according to Ontario’s website.

The man had attended Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada 2020 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from March 2-3.

According to the convention’s organizers, more than 25,000 people from over 132 countries attend the conference. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford were also at the convention and gave speeches.

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Officials have not listed any recent travel history for the Sudbury man. It was initially unclear if his case was being considered a case of community transmission, but in an update Wednesday afternoon, officials said that currently is not the case.

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“To me, this is not a case of community transmission,” said Ontario’s associate chief medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe.

“To me a case of community transmission would be a case where there’s no travel history and you don’t have any epidemiological link to another case. That is, you don’t have any idea where they got it. With this person … it is likely he acquired it at that conference. There were 23 or something thousand people from many, many countries.”

It is not known, however, if the man contracted the virus from someone who travelled from another country.

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Yaffe added that Ontario can expect cases of community transmission in the future.

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“Unfortunately, it probably is an inevitability,” she said.

As of Wednesday, five cases of the virus has been resolved in Ontario.

Premier Ford also announced Wednesday that Ontario has set aside a $100-million contingency fund to deal with COVID-19, and Health Minister Christine Elliott said the money will likely go toward buying more equipment such as testing kits and personal protective gear, as well as hiring more health-care staff, if needed.

That is in addition to a $1-billion package the federal government announced to help the country’s health-care system and economy cope with the novel coronavirus.

Canada now has 117 coronavirus cases as of March 11 — 42 in Ontario, 46 in British Columbia, 19 in Alberta, eight in Quebec, New Brunswick has seen its first case and a former passenger of the Grand Princess cruise ship placed in quarantine in Trenton, Ont. also tested positive.

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– With files from Ryan Rocca and The Canadian Press.

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