A 64-year old man from St. Marys is the first case of COVID-19 in Huron-Perth.
He had recently travelled to Mexico, returning home on March 2nd.
According to Dr. Miriam Klassen, the Medical Officer of Health for Huron Perth Public Health, he fell ill on March 7th and began to self-isolate.
He went to the emergency department of St. Marys Memorial Hospital on the evening of March 12th for symptoms inconsistent with COVID-19.
While at the hospital his condition rapidly changed, and it was determined a test for COVID-19 should be done.
He is in serious condition at the Stratford General Hospital where CEO Andrew Williams says he is being treated under all appropriate guidelines.
Huron Perth Public Health is now tracing people through contact management means to determine who the man was in contact with before he self-isolated. “We will continue to update the community as more details are available,” says Dr. Klassen.
Klassen says that patients with mild symptoms do not need to go to the hospital but need to self-isolate in order to control the spread of infection.
Klassen says it is not unexpected to have a confirmed case but it is important to remember the risk to Huron-Perth residents remains low, “Having a confirmed case in our area is not unexpected given the transmission of this virus globally. Although it is concerning to have a confirmed case, it’s important to remember that as a community and as a health system, we have been preparing for COVID-19. Our focus is on breaking the chain of transmission to limit the spread of infection. The risk to Huron-Perth residents remains low.”
Klassen asks that residents check the HPPH website frequently for more information on prevention tips.
You can find that here
Current recommendations for residents
- At this time, the virus is not circulating locally. However, this is a rapidly changing situation requiring that the community and individuals be prepared for potential wider spread of the infection in the community.
- The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health are advising all travellers to monitor their health for fever, cough, and difficulty breathing for 14 days after arriving back in Canada. If symptoms develop within 14 days, returning travellers are directed to self-isolate as quickly as possible and immediately call their health care provider or public health.
- Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing (shortness of breath).
Who should be tested for COVID-19?
Testing is only being considered for high-risk individuals, including:
- Symptomatic contacts of confirmed cases, until community transmission is confirmed
- Individuals admitted to hospital with acute respiratory illness
- Health care workers with acute respiratory illness
- Individuals with acute respiratory who reside in long-term care homes and retirement homes
- Individuals with acute respiratory illness who reside in other institutions and as directed by local public health
- Health care workers as part of a health care institutional outbreak and as directed by local public health.