Second COVID-19 case confirmed in EOHU jurisdiction; risk ‘remains low’ in region

PRESCOTT-RUSSELL — The EOHU area’s second COVID-19 case was confirmed last night, a person who had travelled to the UK.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), says the infected man is in his 60s and lives in Prescott-Russell. He was tested March 14 after experiencing mild symptoms of fever, cough, headache and generalized aches and pain. At home in self-isolation, his positive test came back March 17.

The man’s symptoms began the day after his March 11 returned from the United Kingdom. The EOHU says it is “actively engaged in the process of contact-tracing for other individuals” who may have had close contact with him.

“Having another confirmed case in our area is not unexpected given the transmission of this virus around the world,” says Dr. Roumeliotis.  “This case is also imported from outside of Canada. Our current containment process aims to identify and isolate
individuals to limit the spread into our community, and it is working.”

The first recorded case — a Prescott-Russell woman in her 30s who tested positive on the weekend — also involved travel outside of Canada. Dr. Roumeliotis adds that at this point, there is no evidence of local community spread, and the risk remains low for the region.

“We will continue to work collectively through personal hygiene precautions and community-based public health measures in keeping with the provincial government’s declaration of a State of Emergency in Ontario,” says the doctor, adding these measures may expand, depending on circumstances.

At this time, measures include social distancing, limits on mass gatherings, closure of public and private schools, licensed daycares, churches, public libraries and many businesses such as gyms, cinemas, dine-in restaurants, bars and nightclubs.

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