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Coronavirus: 2 new confirmed COVID-19 cases brings Peterborough-area total to 7

Peterborough’s COVID-19 cases are slowly climbing
Another two cases were announced by Peterborough Public Health on Wednesday. In addition, the term "social distancing" is being dropped for "physical distancing" because that's what people should do.

Peterborough Public Health says two more confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases in the region to seven.

During a press conference, Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Peterborough’s chief medical officer of health, noted one case is a 65-year-old woman who is a resident of the city. The case was reported to the health unit on Tuesday evening.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: 2 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Peterborough area

The medical officer of health noted the woman’s exposure to the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is associated with her work as an employee at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon, which has three confirmed cases of COVID-19 which were reported last Friday.

However, because she is a Peterborough resident, the case is the responsibility of Peterborough Public Health, not the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge, District Health Unit.

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“She has one close contact,” Salvaterra said.

The second new case confirmed Wednesday morning is a 28-year-old man. Salvaterra said the man was a contact of another case from outside of Peterborough.

“Both are home and are self-isolating,” Salvaterra said.

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All seven cases of COVID-19 in the health unit’s jurisdiction remain in self-isolation at home, Salvaterra said. The health unit is responsible for the city of Peterborough, Peterborough County and the First Nations of Curve Lake and Hiawatha.

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“We don’t have any cases yet where we can’t figure out where they were exposed,” she said. “They’re all residents of the city and county.”

Two new cases were announced Tuesday following none on the weekend and on Monday. A woman who returned from Florida and a man who returned from a curling bonspiel in Edmonton. They had 5 and 2 close contacts, respectively who are all being followed up by the health unit.

READ MORE: Live updates — Coronavirus in Canada

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, the health unit reported 455 people have been tested for COVID-19 and confirmed 186 negative results, with another 282 still awaiting test results, which can take four to five days to process.

The health unit will be receiving an additional 200 test swabs on Wednesday, to complement the 63 swaps still in inventory.

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“That will see us through a good week,” said Salvaterra.

She also noted new terminology going forward of “physical distancing” as opposed to “social distancing” as recommended by the World Health Organization to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Salvaterra reiterated the importance of staying home as much as possible – especially people who are generally unwell.

“We are concerned with respiratory symptoms right now but in general anyone who is not well needs to stay home and self-isolate,” she said. “That’s the only way we’ll stop this (corona)virus – or any other virus – that people might be hosting from spreading to our loved ones. All our advice on the prevention of spread of COVID applies equally well to other viruses and bacteria that are spread by droplets or contact.”

READ MORE: Peterborough hospital seeking donations, items to fight COVID-19

Peterborough Public Health recommends people use the online self-assessement tool if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has the virus.

“If we can do a really good job of physically distancing and self-isolating, we might be able to slow this down even more,” said Salvaterra.

Andy Mitchell, chairman of Peterborough Public Health, praised the efforts of Salvaterra, her team, emergency responders and healthcare workers to keep people safe and informed.

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“Their services are very much appreciated,” he said.

Salvaterra, when asked by reporters how she personally handling her role amid the pandemic, said it is “an honour and privilege” to be tasked with the responsibility but said she has the “great fortunate to have a dynamic team of people to work with.”

“This is not something only one person can address,” she said. “You do need team effort and I count my lucky stars each morning we have such a great team to make it happen every day. This is very much a team effort at Peterborough Public Health – we have 125 staff and they’re all tremendous and I’m grateful to be working with them.”

More to come.