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Thunder Bay health unit says 4th COVID-19 case involved Porter flight from Halifax on March 19

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) provided more details Tuesday about the fourth confirmed COVID-19 case in the area stating it is an individual living in Nipigon, who returned to the region onboard a domestic airline.

The case is related to travel to eastern Canada, including Nova Scotia, and is not related to any previously reported cases, TBDHU stated in a written release.

The TBDHU said the individual travelled on a domestic flight “where transmission of the virus could have potentially occurred.

Porter flight 222 from Halifax to Thunder Bay 

“The flight information is as follows: March 19, 2020 – Porter Flight 222 – Rows 8 through 12.  Departed from Halifax, Nova Scotia to Thunder Bay with stops in Ottawa and Toronto,” said the TBDHU.

The health unit also stated that “passengers in the rows indicated, and flight crew, should self monitor until April 2 and call TBDHU if they currently have or they develop systems such as cough, fever and shortness of breath. Individuals, who do not have symptoms, need no further follow-up.”

Since returning to Nipigon, the individual and several close contacts have been self-isolating at home.

Self-isolation recommended for all travellers

“This is a reminder that self-isolation is an important measure to reduce the risk of spread of the virus to others. Self-isolation is mandatory for travel from international destinations and is strongly recommended for individuals returning to Northwestern Ontario from travel in Canada” stated Dr. Janet DeMille,the TBDHU medical officer of health, in the release.

Health officials said the person was tested at the COVID-19 Assessment Center operated by the Nipigon District Memorial Hospital. The positive result was received late in the afternoon on March 30 and a public health investigation and follow-up began immediately.

The investigation is still continuing and “more information will be provided publicly if indicated by the investigation,” the TBDHU stated.

The person and their close contacts will remain in isolation and will be monitored by TBDHU until fully resolved and cleared by public health.

Anyone in self-isolation who develops symptoms should contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit at (807) 625-5900 or toll-free: 1-888-294-6630.

To reduce the spread of all viruses, including the flu and COVID-19, the TBDHU recommends that you:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Practice social (physical) distancing by avoiding close contact with other people. This means staying at least two metres (six feet) apart from others.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces around you, especially high touch surfaces, for example phones and door knobs

If you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who has it, first self-isolate and then use Ontario’s Self-Assessment Tool to see if you need to seek further care.

For additional information about COVID-19 and the TBDHU area, please see the TBDHU website www.tbdhu.comcoronavirus and social media channels.


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