Neighbouring Huron Perth Public Health reports first case of COVID-19

Man, 64, tested positive at St. Marys Memorial Hospital on March 12 and is now in serious condition

STRATFORD – Neighbouring Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) has reported its first case of COVID-19.

At a press conference in Stratford on March 14, Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health for HPPH, stated the first confirmed case is a 64-year-old man who went to the emergency department at St. Marys Memorial Hospital in St. Marys on the evening of March 12 with symptoms unrelated to COVID-19.

According to Klassen, the man’s condition changed in the emergency department and it was identified that COVID-19 should be considered. Testing and precautions were then initiated immediately, and the man was later transferred to Stratford General Hospital.

According to an HPPH press release, the man recently travelled to Mexico and returned home on March 2. The patient began feeling sick with an unrelated illness on March 7 and began self-isolating at home. He is currently at Stratford General Hospital in serious condition.

Huron Perth Public Health says it will continue to work with local health system partners to identify all known contacts who may have been potentially exposed to the virus and assess any potential health risk.

“We are in the process of conducting case and contact management for this patient and we will continue to update the community as more details are available,” said Klassen.

She added that having a confirmed case in the region is not a surprise.

“Having a confirmed case in our area is not unexpected given the transmission of this virus globally,” said Dr. Klassen. “Although it is concerning to have a confirmed case, it’s important to remember that as a community and as a health system, we have been preparing for COVID-19. Our focus is on breaking the chain of transmission to limit the spread of infection. The risk to Huron-Perth residents remains low.”

HPPH currently recommends the following for Huron-Perth residents:

  • At this time, the virus is not circulating locally. However, this is a rapidly changing situation requiring that the community and individuals be prepared for potential wider spread of the infection in the community.
  • The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health are advising all travellers to monitor their health for fever, cough, and difficulty breathing for 14 days after arriving back in Canada. If symptoms develop within 14 days, returning travellers are directed to self-isolate as quickly as possible and immediately call their health care provider or public health.
  • Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, or difficulty breathing (shortness of breath).

As of March 14 there were no positive cases reported by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

For the latest health information regarding COVID-19, visit