First Case of COVID-19 Reported by Peterborough Public Health 

Written by Communications, March 15, 2020

All Protocols Followed and Risk to Local Residents Remains Low

Today, Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health for Peterborough Public Health, confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in the Peterborough area.

On March 12, a male in his 30s presented himself at Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s emergency department with a travel history to Spain and Portugal. As per established infection prevention and control protocols, the patient was cared for at the hospital using all appropriate precautions, including being isolated as he was tested for COVID-19. The man was discharged home the same day and, per protocols, went into self-isolation where he remains with follow-up from Peterborough Public Health. The patient experienced fever, dry cough, and headache.

Peterborough Public Health is actively engaging in contact tracing and case management, including following up with the individual and his close contacts.

“Having a confirmed case in our area is not unexpected given the transmission of this virus around the world,” Dr. Salvaterra. “As a community and as a health system, we have been preparing for COVID-19. Hopefully this news about the first local case helps reinforce the importance of public health measures in place such as school closures and event cancellations, as well as personal precautions like social distancing and regular handwashing.”

“The team at PRHC responded quickly and professionally with the appropriate precautions and protocols to ensure the safety of those in the Emergency Department and the hospital,” said Dr. Lynn Mikula, Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Officer of PRHC. “Beginning Monday, March 16, patients and visitors will see additional active screening measures, limited hospital entry points and restrictions for visitors and volunteers, and we continue to ask people to delay coming to the hospital for any non-urgent appointments, procedures or visits. Thank you in advance to the people of our community and region for their cooperation and diligence, including practicing excellent hand cleaning and social distancing, as we work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our patients, visitors, healthcare professionals, staff and volunteers safe.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ministry of Health advise 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 professionals or public health to make arrangements to be tested.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath). Complications from the COVID-19 can include serious conditions, like pneumonia or kidney failure, and in some cases, death.

IMPORTANT: If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19 and have recently travelled, contact Peterborough Public Health at 705-743-1000, ext. 401 or covid19@peterboroughpublichealth.ca Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., or Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. For medical advice after these hours, contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 (TTY 1-866-797-0007). Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited. If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead and tell them that you have a respiratory illness. If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

Visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca to learn more about COVID-19 and how you can prepare. Future positive cases of COVID-19 will be reported on www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca as well.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

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For further information, please contact:

Brittany Cadence
Communications Manager
705-743-1000, ext. 391