Two provincial governments in Atlantic Canada have put employees who attended a mining convention in Toronto last week into quarantine after a patient with the novel coronavirus was reported to have attended the event.
On Wednesday, health officials in Sudbury, Ont., confirmed that a man in his 50s who attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto tested positive for COVID-19.
More than 25,000 people from over 132 countries attended PDAC on March 2 and 3, including representatives of governments in Atlantic Canada.
Now, the governments of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador have confirmed to Global News that they’ve quarantined individuals who attended the conference.
A spokesperson for Nova Scotia’s Public Service Commission says eight people from the province’s department of energy and mines who attended the event are now working from home “to be extra cautious.”
“Public health officials in Nova Scotia have connected with their counterparts in Ontario on this matter. The advice to conference attendees is to closely monitor their health for 14 days,” said Tina Thibeau, director of media relations for the province of Nova Scotia.
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador has taken similar steps with eight officials from the province’s Department of Natural Resources.
“As a precaution, all officials who attended the convention have called 811 and are now at home in self-isolation,” Siobhan Coady, Newfoundland and Labrador’s minister of natural resources, said in a statement.
“We have advised employees on this matter and have provided them with guidelines on COVID-19. The health and safety of our employees are paramount.”
Neither Coady nor the department’s deputy minister attended the event.
Prince Edward Island said provincial employees did not attend the conference in Toronto.
New Brunswick was the only province that did not confirm whether any provincial employees had attended PDAC.
“If your symptoms develop to cough or fever, please call 811 for screening. We also recommend that you distance yourself from persons with underlying medical conditions,” said Abigail McCarthy, a spokesperson for the province’s Department of Natural Resources and Energy Development.
McCarthy said that any person identified as needing a followup is being contacted by provincial health authorities.
As of Thursday, Johns Hopkins CSSE said there were more than 135,000 confirmed cases worldwide. There have been more than 4,900 deaths.