Niagara confirms first case of COVID-19 with no travel history

Image by Olga Lionart from Pixabay

Niagara Region press release – Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services is investigating a confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a male in his 30s with no international travel history. As the person is a staff member at Saint Francis Catholic Secondary School, Public Health is working closely with the school as well as the Niagara Catholic District School Board to monitor the situation.

The person worked while infectious and is currently at home in self-isolation. Staff and students of the school have been notified of the risk of exposure, and Public Health has recommended that the school community monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms for the next 14 days. If anyone in the school community shows signs of symptoms, they have been asked to immediately self-isolate and contact either their health care professional or Public Health.

Common symptoms include:
  • Fever and/or
  • New cough or a cough that is getting worse
Other symptoms can include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • A runny or congested nose (not allergies)

“We believe this infection was due to community exposure within Ontario,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, medical officer of health (acting), Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services. “With local transmission occurring around Ontario and possibly now in Niagara as well, it is important we continue with our civic duty to help break the chain of transmission by keeping our physical distance and avoiding unnecessary interactions with others.”

The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 is to:

  • Avoid all non-essential travel, as recommended by Provincial and Federal health authorities
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub
  • Practice physical distancing by avoiding unnecessary close interaction with others (e.g. shaking hands, deferring events)
  • Stay home if you’re sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily. Use a disinfectant and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Call ahead if visiting your health care provider for infectious symptoms so they can plan to protect others from the spread

As this is an evolving situation, we continue to remind everyone of the importance of using credible sources to stay informed. We update our website frequently as new information is confirmed. We encourage all Niagara residents to visit our Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage.

For information regarding travel, please visit the Government of Canada website.

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.