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Ontario confirms three new cases of COVID-19 in GTA, bringing total confirmed to 11
TORONTO -- Ontario’s chief medical officer of health has confirmed three new positive cases of the COVID-19 virus Saturday, bringing the total number of cases in the province to 11.
Dr. David Williams said in a news release on Saturday that the number of confirmed cases in Ontario had risen to 11, although the first three cases have been resolved.
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Officials reported the new cases involve a 34-year-old woman in York Region, and a woman, 51, and her husband, 69, in Ajax. Both women had just returned from Iran.
The statement said that after the 34-year-old woman arrived in Toronto Wednesday, York Region Public Health connected with Mackenzie Health, a hospital in Richmond Hill, to arrange a time for the woman to go to its emergency department.
“The patient arrived at Mackenzie Health [on Thursday] with a dry cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and headache and was put on airborne/droplet/contact precautions,” Ontario health officials stated.
“Due to the low severity of symptoms and the condition of the patient, the patient was not admitted to hospital. The patient is in self-isolation, per protocols, where she remains.”
People may have come into contact on flights, GO bus
Dr. Karim Kurji, the York Region medical officer of health, spoke to reporters at a news conference Saturday evening, saying it's the first confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in his region.
He said health officials have begun a search for anyone who might have come in contact with the woman before she arrived in hospital.
He said the woman had been travelling on Qatar Airways flight QR 483 and QR 163 and Air Canada flight AC 883 with her husband and their toddler, and she had developed symptoms prior to her arrival in Toronto.
"They have been isolated as well, and the husband has undergone his tests already, and we are awaiting those particular results. Both of them are well," he said.
"We probably will get the toddler tested in due course. You can imagine how challenging it is for the family when you actually have a toddler who can't see their mum."
Kurji said the woman had boarded GO bus #40 at Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal 1 at around 3:55 p.m. Wednesday after she arrived.
She was travelling eastbound and sat on the upper deck of the bus with a final destination at the Richmond Hill Centre Terminal, he said.
Kurji said that people on the flights sitting close to the woman in the business class section and those on the upper deck of the bus may have been exposed to COVID-19, and are asked to contact York Region Public Health.
Metrolinx spokesperon Anne Marie Aikins said the driver of the bus is aware and is receiving full support, and that the bus will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
Two other cases reported in Durham Region
The two other patients, who also tested positive for COVID-19, sought care at Lakeridge Health Ajax and Pickering, Ontario health officials said.
One of the patients, the 51-year-old woman, returned to Toronto from Iran on Feb. 22 and six days later, went to an Ajax clinic with symptoms of a cough, body aches and chills, officials said.
The patient was eventually masked and isolated and the Durham Region Health Department contacted Lakeridge Health Ajax and Pickering and coordinated an arrival time for the patient.
“The patient arrived at the hospital wearing a mask where she was tested for COVID-19. She was discharged home and put in self-isolation, per protocols, where she remains,” the statement said.
The woman’s husband, who had a cough but no recent travel history to Iran, also tested positive for COVID-19.
Health officials said the man accompanied his wife to the Ajax clinic and Lakeridge Health Ajax and Pickering, where he was also masked and isolated.
“He was tested for COVID-19 and discharged home. He has also been put in self-isolation, where he remains,” officials said.
Ontario health officials reminded residents in the region that, at this time, the virus is not circulating locally.
“However, given the global circumstances, Ontario is actively working with city and health partners to plan for the potential of local spread,” officials said.
“The province continues to carefully monitor this situation and encourage residents to stay informed by regularly reviewing credible information sources.”
Saturday’s announcement comes hours after the province's seventh and eighth cases of the virus were reported in Toronto.
Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. David Williams will provide an update on the new cases at a media briefing Monday.