coronavirus toronto

Here's what we know about the latest case of coronavirus in Toronto

Just days after announcing that all active cases of the 2019 novel coronavirus had been cleared in Ontario, the province has confirmed a new "presumptive positive case" of COVID-19 in Toronto.

Ontario's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. David Williams, stated in a press release on Sunday evening that samples an adult woman who arrived to Canada from China on February 21 had just tested positive for the deadly virus.

"Given the individual's clinical assessment and history, there is a low risk that she was infectious," reads the government release.

"The individual followed all protocols and wore a mask throughout her travels back to Toronto and, since landing, the woman has had very limited exposure to other individuals."

Williams says that the woman attended North York General Hospital's emergency department with an intermittent cough shortly after arriving in Toronto on Feb. 21.

The woman was isolated, as per established protocols, and tested for COVID-19. Upon discharge, the woman went into self-isolation and Toronto Public Health was notified.

Ontario's Public Health Laboratory confirmed on Sunday that the patient had tested positive for the coronavirus. The sample has been sent to Canada's National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for further confirmation, but as it stands now, the woman is classified as "presumptive positive."

Passengers who were in close proximity to the woman during her flight to Toronto are being contacted and monitored by the province.

"Because of all the proper protocols and procedures that are in place to contain this virus and exposure to others was limited, I want to assure the public that the risk to Ontarians remains low," said Williams on Sunday night.

"Protecting the health and well-being of individuals and families across the province remains our top priority and we continue to vigilantly monitor for and contain any and all new cases."

Previous to this case, three people in Ontario had tested positive with COVID-19: A univeristy student in London, Ontario, and a married couple in Toronto. All had recently returned from travelling in China, where the outbreak began in late 2019.

On Friday, it was announced that all three cases had cleared up, leaving Ontario free from confirmed cases of the virus for the first time since January 25.

A total of 78,811 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed globally as of February 23, according to the World Health Organization, the majority of them (77,042) in China.

More than 2,400 people have died as a result of contracting the virus within China, according to the WHO. Another 17 people have died elsewhere in the world, with cases of COVID-19 now registered in 28 countries including Canada and the U.S.

The Canadian government is still warning citizens to avoid avoid all travel to the province of Hubei, where the city of Wuhan remains in quarantine with some 11 million residents on lockdown.

The WHO maintains a global risk level of "high" for the 2019 coronavirus outbreak, but Toronto Public Health maintains that the general risk to members of the public in this city remains low.

Lead photo by

Alyssa Black

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