3 new confirmed coronavirus cases in Ottawa, 1 hospitalized

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. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, NIAID-RML

The provincial government reported three new confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in Ottawa on Monday, bringing the total number of Ontario-confirmed cases in the city so far to 24.

The three new cases reported by the provincial government in an update Monday morning include a man in his 50s who tested positive for COVID-19 and is in hospital. The update didn’t specify how he contracted the virus.

READ MORE: Ontario announces 78 new COVID-19 cases, total hits 489 active coronavirus cases

A woman in her 50s also contracted the virus from being in close contact with another case. The third new case in Ottawa — a girl under the age of 18 — is travel-related, according to Ontario’s daily update. The two are self-isolating.

Outside of Ottawa, the province reported another confirmed case in the Eastern Ontario Health Unit: a woman in her 60s who contracted the virus through close contact. She is also self-isolating.

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The news comes less than a day after Ottawa Public Health reported it has laboratory confirmation of community spread of the virus in the city, meaning it’s seen cases that aren’t related to travel or close contact with a person who tested positive for the virus.

Based on modelling data, there could now be up to 4,000 undetected cases of COVID-19 in the national capital, Dr. Vera Etches, the city’s chief medical officer, said in a statement on Sunday afternoon.

READ MORE: Data suggests there could be up to 4K undiagnosed coronavirus cases in Ottawa, public health unit says

Etches hammered the message once again that local residents should stay home and only leave for essential reasons, like picking up groceries.

She urged residents to refrain from coming into close contact with people and from visiting “non-essential businesses” like retail stores, salons, tattoo parlours, gyms, banquet halls and conference centres.

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“Our efforts are needed as a community. The actions you take will affect not only you, but your loved ones and our most vulnerable,” Etches said.

To residents returning from March break travel, Etches said it’s “imperative” that returning travellers self-isolate for 14 days and order groceries and essential supplies online, or have a family member or friend do the pickup and drop-off.

As of 9:30 a.m., Ottawa Public Health said it’s investigating a total of 22 confirmed cases in the city and 11 indeterminate cases.

On Monday, Ontario reported 78 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Sunday night, which represents the highest single-day jump in the province to date.

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A total of 503 cases of the novel coronavirus have been identified in Ontario so far.

Of those, six people have died from the virus and eight cases have been resolved, according to the government’s numbers.

The province updates its information on COVID-19 cases in Ontario online twice daily.

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

Health officials 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.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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

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