Three new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Ontario, total rises to 23

TORONTO — Health officials are confirming three new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the province’s total to 23, including recoveries.

Provincial health officials announced the two new cases in a news release issued on Thursday morning, while Peel Region health officials announced a third new case on Thursday evening.  

One of the three patients is a woman in her 50s, who returned home from Italy on March 3. She attended Grand River Hospital’s emergency department in Kitchener, where she was “assessed, tested and discharged home the same day.”

“The patient is experiencing mild symptoms and remains in self-isolation at home with minimal contact with others,” officials said.

Region of Waterloo Public Health is “actively monitoring the situation, including contact tracing,” the news release said.

The second patient is a man in his 60s, who returned home from Iran on Feb. 29. He attended Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s emergency department in Toronto on March 3.

“He was assessed and discharged home on the same day,” officials said.

He remains in self-isolation now at home, where he has “minimal contact with others.”

Toronto Public Health is monitoring this case.

The third patient is a man in his 60s from Mississauga, and Peel Region health officials say he is the first positive case in their region.

He was aboard the Grand Princess Cruise Ship out of San Francisco from Feb.11 to 21 and he returned to Canada on Feb. 28, officials said.

“Given the global spread of this virus over the last few weeks, a case in Peel was anticipated and pre-emptive measures were in place for exactly this type of situation,” Dr. Jessica Hopkins, the medical officer of health for Peel Region, said.

“This case contracted the illness outside of our Region and there remains no community spread to date of COVID-19.” 

The man is doing well and recovering in self-isolation at home, officials said. 

Health officials continue to state that COVID-19 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.”

Of the confirmed cases of the virus in the province, officials said four of them have recovered. They are a Toronto couple in their 50s, a London, Ont. university student in her 20s and a Toronto woman in her 20s. They had all recently travelled to China.

All of the recovered patients have had two consecutive negative tests at least 24 hours apart.

In Canada there have been 37 confirmed cases of the virus in total, including two cases in Quebec and 13 cases in British Columbia. COVID-19 has sickened more than 95,000 people worldwide, killing more than 3,500.

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