Coronavirus: Brant County’s first positive COVID-19 case a health-care worker who travelled through Hamilton airport

Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) confirmed its first case of the novel coronavirus on Wednesday after a woman in her 40s returned to Canada through Hamilton airport.

In a statement, the BCHU says the traveller became symptomatic three days after returning from Mexico and the Mayan Riviera via John C. Munro Airport on March 8.

In their own statement, Woodstock hospital identified the woman as a health care worker at that facility who made contact with patients after returning from the trip.

“Between March 9 to 11 she reported to work, and during her shift on March 11, she became symptomatic and immediately left work to self-isolate at home. This individual’s duties involve limited patient contact,” Southwestern Public Health said in a statement.

The health care worker is now self-isolating after receiving a positive test result on March 17. Officials say the case is not connected to ‘community transmission.’

BCHU says it’s following up on 25 people who made contact with the woman. So far six have come back negative with 18 tests yet to return from the lab.

Hamilton’s total number of positive tests for COVID-19 is now at 19, according to the city’s public health unit on Wednesday.

Ontario says two of the new cases are connected to travel with a woman in her 30s having returned from the Caribbean and another a woman in her 70s who had been to Mexico.

Hamilton Public Health Services says another has ties to the Heritage Green Nursing Home in Stoney Creek.

An 80-year-old woman was brought to St. Joseph’s Healthcare on Monday for scheduled treatment.

During her visit she began displaying symptoms, and was moved to isolation where she remains.

Seven hospital staff are now self-isolating. No patients have been put at risk, according to public health officials.

On Tuesday, the city’s Medical Officer of Health Elizabeth Richardson said one of the 17 cases appears to not to be connected to travel and was apparently contracted through ‘community transmission.’

“This is that point at which, you know, we do become concerned that there are some more cases here than we’re actually seeing and that there may be true transmission going on from person-to-person,” said Richardson.

On Wednesday, the province confirmed four news cases in Halton, bringing the region’s caseload to eight with three of four connected with travel to the Caribbean and the U.S.

No new cases have been reported in Niagara. There are three people under investigation in that region after positive tests.

The province on Wednesday reported 205 confirmed positive tests since it began tracking earlier this year. A total of 3,380 are under investigation.

The Ministry of Health also confirmed a 77-year-old man from Muskoka was the first death in Ontario. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) said the man was a patient at the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH) in Barrie.

He contracted the virus on the weekend after coming in close contact with another positive case.

On Monday a pair of COVID-19 assessment centres were opened at the Hamilton Health Sciences urgent care clinic at 690 Main St. W. and at the east-end clinic at 2757 King St. E. that is operated by St. Joseph’s Healthcare.

The assessment centres are by appointment only for those who have a referral from their doctor or Hamilton Public Health Services, based on symptoms (cough or fever), travel history and exposure to known cases.

Meanwhile, Niagara Health opened its first COVID-19 assessment centre on Tuesday, according to a release. It’s located behind the Greater Niagara General site in Niagara Falls.

The facility will screen, assess and test people for COVID-19 by referral only. A second centre is expected to open in St. Catharines, next week.

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