One of Ontario’s 25 newly-confirmed cases of COVID-19 is from the London-Middlesex area, public health officials say.
That brings the total number of local cases to five. In Ontario, there are 208 confirmed positive cases, five resolved cases, and one death. Nationally, there are more than 600 active cases.
Details are limited, but provincial health officials said Wednesday that the latest local case involves a woman in her 60s who is now in self-isolation. It’s not clear yet how she contracted the virus.
“While this individual has not travelled recently to an area affected by COVID-19, nor does she have any contact with another confirmed or probable case, public health staff continue to investigate for a possible source,” the health unit said in a statement.
It comes after two new local cases of COVID-19 were reported on Tuesday.
One case involved a University Hospital health-care worker in her 20s who contracted the virus while on a trip to Las Vegas and went to work while symptomatic. She is now self-isolating for two weeks, health officials said.
“We’re taking our normal, standard process… to check all of the patient contacts, all of the staff contacts, and so forth,” said Neil Johnson, chief operating officer for London Health Sciences Centre, on Wednesday. The infected staff member is reportedly doing well, he said.
Tuesday’s other case involved a woman in her 40s who had travelled to St. Maarten. It remains unclear, though, where she contracted the virus.
“We are still unable to identify a clear association with travel, and as we see cases increase, we become greatly more concerned that community transmission is right around the corner,” said Dr. Alex Summers, associate medical officer of health for London and Middlesex, on Tuesday.
Though health officials wouldn’t provide further information about the case, Global News confirmed earlier in the day that a London courthouse employee was among Tuesday’s two local COVID-19 cases.
The courthouse learned of the diagnosis Monday night, prompting the closure of the building for deep cleaning, according to an internal memo sent to staff and stakeholders. The courthouse was set to reopen on Wednesday, but remained closed Wednesday morning.
Middlesex-London’s first case, reported in late January, involved a Western University student in her 20s who had travelled to Wuhan, China. She was cleared of the virus in mid-February.
The second case, reported earlier this month, involved a woman in her 50s who health officials said was a primary health-care worker, and who had “no history of recent travel to areas that have been significantly affected by the novel coronavirus.” She remains in self-isolation.
The Strathroy Medical Clinic confirmed on Sunday that the patient is an employee there.
With files from 980 CFPL’s Jacquelyn LeBel and Devon Peacock.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
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. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.