Visitor to Grey Bruce tests negative for novel coronavirus

An individual visiting Grey Bruce tested negative for the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) related to the outbreak in Wuhan, China. This person presented at a Grey Bruce Health Services hospital emergency room with mild respiratory symptoms and had identified recent travel history to an affected region. Negative test results were received today from the Public Health Ontario Lab and confirmed by a second test at the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg.

The individual did not require hospitalization, was discharged home with instructions on self-isolation, and has since recovered. Additional details will not be released as to assure client confidentiality.

The risk to residents in Grey and Bruce remains low. We are continually reassessing public health risk and working to keep it low. The Grey Bruce Health Unit Incident Management team including the infectious Diseases program works with the local hospitals and partners to ensure a timely response in managing this situation.

“In discussions with hospital staff, we are confident that all appropriate precautions were taken in this situation, and the appropriate protocols were followed to minimize risk to others. The system worked as it should,” said Dr. Ian Arra, Medical Officer of Health, Grey Bruce Health Unit.

We continue to liaise with Ontario Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario and the Public Health Agency of Canada in our response to the novel coronavirus.

Upon being notified of this potential case, the Grey Bruce Health Unit actively identified and assessed potential risks. Working with local hospital staff, samples from the individual were immediately shipped to the Public Health Ontario laboratory for priority testing and from there to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for independent confirmation testing.

Local hospitals have measures in place to screen individuals who are suspected of being infected by the novel coronavirus. Please follow all instructions when visiting a hospital.

Residents who have returned from recent international travel and become ill with respiratory symptoms such as a cough and fever should report their travel history to any health professional, or any emergency room, before they visit. Please contact Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 for questions specific to an individual health concern.

To reduce the risk of respiratory diseases such as flu and coronavirus:

•         Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

•         Use proper cough etiquette. Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve or arm.

•         Stay at home if you are sick.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases including viral pneumonia. More information about coronavirus is available at: