City of Kawartha Lakes has first confirmed case of COVID-19: health unit

Click to play video: 'Second confirmed case of COVID-19 in the region'
Second confirmed case of COVID-19 in the region
For the second time this weekend, a case of COVID-19 has been detected in the region, this time in the City of Kawartha Lakes. – Mar 15, 2020

Health officials have confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit reports the individual is a woman in her 60s who lives in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

According to health officials, the woman recently visited Germany and had travelled on Air Canada flight 877 from Frankfurt to Toronto on March 10. She was showing symptoms of flu and was seen by health officials at Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay on March 12.

The health unit says the woman was discharged and remains in self-isolation at home with follow-up from the health unit which is working with the patient to identify anyone she may have been in contact with while ill.

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She is the second case in the health unit’s jurisdiction after a Northumberland County woman in her 60s tested positive after returning from Europe. She visited Northumberland Hills Hospital on March 11 and results were announced on Friday night.

“Although we are now seeing travel-related cases in our communities, it’s important for people to remember that most people who have had COVID-19 have had mild symptoms and recovered fully at home,” stated Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, the health unit’s medical officer of health.

The health unit was working closely with the Lindsay hospital to ensure measures were put in place in anticipation of a positive case. Noseworthy says the hospital staff took the “appropriate precautions” to isolate the woman so there was no risk to anyone else at the hospital at that time.

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“Our team quickly implemented all established protocols and precautions, ensuring the safety of patients, visitors, staff and physicians,” stated Veronica Nelson, RMH’s interim president and CEO.

“At this time, all care and services are operational. We are introducing active screening measures, limiting hospital entry points, and introducing restrictions [for] visiting and volunteering, which will be shared on our website. We thank everyone for their patience during this time.”
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The health unit says anyone who may have travelled on Flight 877 are asked to call their nearest health unit.

If you have travelled and develop flu-like symptoms, contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-000, or call the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577, ext. 5020. If symptoms are severe, call 911 and alert the dispatcher to the potential concern regarding COVID-19 so they can be appropriately prepared.

On Friday evening, the City of Kawartha Lakes suspended all services at all public gathering facilities with occupancy of 250 people or more and facilities. Mayor Andy Letham also released a video statement.

“We strongly discourage public gatherings of large groups of people to avoid the risk of exposure,” the municipality stated.

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Concerned about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials say the risk for Canadians is low.

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing – very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend social distancing, frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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