Four new COVID-19 cases reported in Toronto and York Region, bringing total in Ontario to 15

TORONTO — Four more positive cases of COVID-19 in Toronto and York Region have been confirmed by Ontario health officials Sunday, bringing the total in the province to 15.

Officials reported the new cases involve three people from York Region and one person from Toronto. 

The four new cases come after provincial health authorities announced that three people were confirmed to have the virus in the Greater Toronto Area Saturday.

York Region’s medical officer of health Dr. Karim Kurji told CTV News Toronto Sunday that the three new cases in his region all have a history of travel to countries where the virus has already spread.

The first new case involves the husband of York Region’s first case, a woman who had recently travelled to Iran and boarded a GO bus upon arrival.

Kurji said the wife and husband had travelled to Iran with their toddler. Unlike his wife, who had symptoms on the flight back home, the husband did not develop any until after arriving in Toronto and while he was in self-isolation.

Both remain in self-isolation due to the low severity of the symptoms and their condition, but were seen at Mackenzie Health, a hospital in Richmond Hill, he said. 

Virus

Kurji said the second new case in York Region involves a man in his 50s, who is the brother of a Toronto man recently confirmed to be the seventh case in Ontario and has a travel history to Iran.

Officials said the man in York Region was assessed at Mackenzie Health in Richmond Hill on Friday, and he is now also in self-isolation.

Kurji said the third COVID-19 case involves a Newmarket woman in her 70s.

He said she was on the same tour in Egypt as the Toronto man, who was reported to be the eighth person in Ontario to have the virus. Kurji said the two also had dinner together on Feb. 19.

He said that she did not develop symptoms until after arriving the next day on Feb. 20.

She was tested at South Lake Regional Health Centre on Saturday and has since been in self-isolation as well.

“I need to assure the public that for two of them they pose no risk to the public at all because we already controlled all the context, etc. and they are in self-isolation,” Kurji said. “The third individual is also in self-isolation, but we are still in the process of working through the context and assessing the risks.”

He reminded residents that the virus is not circulating in the community, and that all the cases in the region are travel-related.

Toronto case

Ontario health officials said the Toronto case involves a man in his 60s, who returned from Iran on Feb. 23 and presented himself to North York General Hospital’s emergency department Friday. 

Officials said he informed the hospital of a cough and was assessed and discharged home the same day. He went into self-isolation, where he remains with minimal contact with others, health officials said. 

“Toronto Public Health is actively engaged in contact tracing and case management,” health officials stated in a news release Sunday.

Dr. David Williams, the province’s chief medical officer of health, will provide an update on all the cases on Monday.

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