The number of Canadian cases of the new coronavirus climbed higher Sunday, with Alberta, Ontario and Quebec all reporting confirmed or possible COVID-19 infections.
Ontario’s chief medical officer of health announced Sunday another positive case of COVID-19 — a woman in her 40s who was recently in Colorado — increasing the total number of confirmed cases in the province to 29.
At least four cases in Ontario have already been resolved, according to the provincial government, with those patients testing negative for the virus twice in a row at least 24 hours apart.
“As a result of the coordinated efforts of our health care and public health system, all individuals who have tested positive have been quickly assessed and isolated,” the provincial government stated in a press release. “At this time, the virus 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.”
Quebec’s health ministry said Sunday that another probable case had been detected, a person who recently returned from a cruise. Meanwhile, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health said there were two new presumptive cases of COVID-19 in the province, and that one previous presumptive case was now confirmed.
Ontario is actively working with city and health partners to plan for the potential of local spread
“These individuals have been isolated and actions are being taken to prevent the infection from spreading,” said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, in a press release. “Given the global spread of COVID-19, it is likely that new cases will continue to be detected in the days ahead. While the current risk of exposure to the virus remains low in Alberta, this may change in the coming weeks.”
The Public Health Agency of Canada has rated the public-health risk from the virus as low, but the latest cases come as the outbreak continues around the world and as governments are taking steps to try to address the situation.
There were 60 confirmed cases of the virus in Canada as of Sunday afternoon, according to the federal government. Most were in Ontario and British Columbia, with three in Quebec and now one in Alberta.
The number of confirmed cases and deaths now stand globally at more than 105,000 and 3,500, respectively, according to the World Health Organization’s statistics. A statement from the WHO on Saturday said it “reminds all countries and communities that the spread of this virus can be significantly slowed or even reversed through the implementation of robust containment and control activities.”
That advice is being heeded by some governments. Italy on Sunday reportedly moved to lock down northern parts of the country, quarantining approximately 16 million people, as the number of COVID-19 cases in the European country is now more than 5,800 and the number of deaths linked to the virus is more than 230.
British Columbia said it has developed a “Pandemic Provincial Co-ordination Plan” to respond to the outbreak. On Saturday, the province announced six new cases of the virus, pushing B.C.’s total number of confirmed cases up to 27.
“There has been a notable transmission of COVID-19 at events, such as religious gatherings,” said a joint statement from the province’s health minister and health officer. “As a result, we recommend social distancing and forgoing usual greetings. As an alternative, we recommend considering virtual online gatherings.”
There has been a notable transmission of COVID-19 at events, such as religious gatherings
The virus has forced companies to respond accordingly as well. Tim Hortons on Saturday announced it was removing paper cups for its upcoming Roll Up The Rim To Win contest and would instead be redistributing $30 million in prizes via restaurant giveaways and a digital contest.
“Tim Hortons does not believe it’s the right time for team members in our restaurants to collect rolled up tabs that have been in people’s mouths during this current public health environment,” the company said in a press release.
A cruise ship with more than 3,500 people on board, including 237 Canadians, was en route Sunday to Oakland, Calif. after sitting off the coast of San Francisco for several days awaiting approval to dock, according to a Canadian Press report.
Alberta’s third presumed case of the virus is a man who had recently been on a Grand Princess Cruise before returning to the province on Feb. 21, the province’s press release said. The fourth case is a “close contact” of a person who had recently been to Europe, including stops in Ukraine, Turkey and the Netherlands.