Health officials in Sudbury have confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the area, bringing the total in Ontario to 37. In an online statement yesterday, Sudbury public health says a man in his 50s tested positive for COVID-19 after he went to the emergency department at Health Sciences North on Saturday. That the man attended a convention in Toronto on March 2nd and 3rd. The public health agency says the man was sent home after being diagnosed, where he remains in isolation.
The global spread of coronavirus has come during one of the busiest travel times of the year for Canadians — March break. Both Air Canada and WestJet are waiving fees associated with changing some flights booked for this month. WestJet has also expanded and increased the frequency of sanitation procedures, in light of concerns about the illness.
An announcement is expected this morning about Ottawa’s plans to help Canadians navigate the tough economic times caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Prime Minister Trudeau is scheduled to unveil the initiatives aimed at helping workers, employers and provincial health systems. Canada has, so far, seen 94 confirmed cases, including one fatality, and one presumptive case is still being investigated.
Four workers at a long-term care-home in North Vancouver have now contracted the coronavirus. That is the same facility where Canada’s fatality linked to the virus was recorded. The Hospital Employees Union’s Jennifer Whiteside says care-aides who work for private contractors and don’t have enough sick time — should get employment insurance benefits if they have to go into quarantine for 14 days. Meantime, the Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions is calling for more care home workers to ensure vulnerable patients get the care they need if employees are under quarantine.
Photo Credit: World Health Organization