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Peterborough Public Health reports 3rd confirmed case of COVID-19

Click to play video 'New COVID-19 cases in Peterborough, Northumberland and City of Kawartha Lakes' New COVID-19 cases in Peterborough, Northumberland and City of Kawartha Lakes
The Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit reports 2 new cases in Northumberland and 1 in the City of Kawartha Lakes while Peterborough Public Health reports 1 new case – Mar 19, 2020

Peterborough Public Health has confirmed its third case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

On Thursday morning, Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health, said the third case was a woman in her 70s who had recently travelled to Florida. She returned home on March 13 and was tested on March 17. She is now resting at home “comfortably.”

The test results were received late Wednesday evening.

“I think this is a very good time to remind our returning snowbirds they need to self-isolate once they are home,” said Salvaterra. “Call on friends and family to replenish their pantry and freezer and do any errands for them. They do need to remain at home.”

Salvaterra noted they have identified five “close contacts” of the third confirmed case.

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“Only those who are symptomatic will be tested,” said Salvaterra. “None of our cases are hospitalized and all remain in self-isolation.”

READ MORE: Second confirmed case of COVID-19 in Peterborough area, health unit says

It’s the third confirmed case of COVID-19 for the health unit’s jurisdiction since Sunday. The health unit monitors the City of Peterborough, Peterborough County, Hiawatha First Nation and Curve Lake First Nation.

The first confirmed case was a man in his 30s who had recently travelled to Europe and returned home on Feb. 24 and began to have flu-like symptoms on March 1. He visited Peterborough Regional Health Centre on March 12. Trent University noted the man was associated with its Peterborough campus.

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The health unit on Wednesday said the second confirmed case was an individual who was a “close contact” of the first patient — one of 12 who are undergoing testing.

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By the numbers (Peterborough Public Health’s jurisdiction as of noon Thursday, March 19):
  • Confirmed positive: 3
  • Confirmed negative: 84
  • Under investigation: 77
  • Deceased: 0
  • Hospitalized cases: 0
  • Current status of hospitalized cases: n/a
  • Unusual cases: n/a

Salvaterra also announced Peterborough County-City Paramedics will be conducting COVID-19 tests at homes to help alleviate patients visiting the Peterborough Regional Health Centre. The service will be available to those who can’t get to an assessment centre or should remain in self-isolation.

“Paramedics will be dispatched to someone’s home to do the testing remotely, with a nasal pharyngeal swab,” said Randy Mellow, chief of paramedics. “We launched the program yesterday and already we’ve treated 14 people in their homes. And another community paramedic will be operating alongside PRHC staff at the assessment centre. That’s another way to assist with the testing capacity and to receive the referrals for home visits if they are required.”

Earlier this week, the Peterborough hospital opened a COVID-19 assessment centre at its emergency department. However, it advises that only people referred by health professionals should visit the centre.

New visitor restrictions were announced on Thursday morning.

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READ MORE: Ontario confirms 43 new coronavirus cases, total rises to 251 active cases

Salvaterra said the health unit is extending its weekend hours for its hotline.

“So we have increased our capacity. Yesterday (Wednesday) we received almost 700 calls on our hotline and the average wait-time was just under one minute,” she said.

The health unit says test results for COVID-19 take up to four days due to the high volumes of people being tested throughout Ontario.

“So that means people who have been tested have to remain in self-isolation till they are advised by a public health nurse, or potentially by the physician who ordered the test that they are either positive or negative,” said Salvaterra.

More to come.

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