All precautions followed, Halton contact tracing and assessing health risk
On March 18, 2020, Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Medical Officer of Health for Halton Region confirmed the fifth case of COVID-19 in Halton region.
Halton’s fifth case, a female resident from Oakville in her 50s, returned to Toronto from Los Angeles on March 8 (Flight AC790; Air Canada). She became symptomatic on March 8, and presented herself for testing at Joseph Brant Hospital on March 14. As per established infection prevention and control protocols, the hospital took all precautions, including testing in an isolated environment with all necessary personal protective equipment. Halton Region Public Health is actively engaged in contact tracing and case management. The case is self-isolating at home.
Another individual is awaiting confirmatory testing—a female resident from Burlington in her 20s who returned to Toronto from Los Angeles on March 2. She became symptomatic on March 8, and presented herself for testing at Joseph Brant Hospital on March 13. As per established infection prevention and control protocols, the hospital took all precautions, including testing in an isolated environment with all necessary personal protective equipment. Halton Region Public Health is actively engaged in contact tracing and case management. The case is self-isolating at home. It has been determined that the case was symptomatic during a recent trip to Ottawa on the following flights: Toronto to Ottawa on March 9 (Flight WS3464; WestJet) and then Ottawa to Toronto on March 11 (Flight WS371; WestJet). Individuals who have travelled on these flights are considered exposed to a case of COVID-19.
Passengers who travelled on any of the above-mentioned flights need to self-monitor and self-isolate if they become symptomatic within 14 days of being on the flights.
“While we continue to see more cases, I want to reassure residents that most individuals who do contract COVID-19 with mild symptoms will recover on their own,” said Dr. Hamidah Meghani, Halton Region Medical Officer of Health. “We are starting to see cases emerge where there is no direct link to a confirmed case and thus indicate community transmission. Please continue to follow the advice provided by health care professionals, self-monitor or self-isolate as appropriate and simply stay at home if you are feeling unwell.”
“Joseph Brant Hospital has taken important measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our patients and visitors as well as our staff, physicians and partners,” said Eric Vandewall, President and Chief Executive Officer at Joseph Brant Hospital. “We have set-up isolated areas for immediate screening and care, have reduced elective program and service offerings, as directed by the Ministry of Health, and we are preparing larger clinical areas should the need for more inpatient capacity arise. All of our physicians and staff are prepared for the increased demands and additional infection control precautions that are required during this time.”
Halton Region Public Health is focusing on those most at risk of COVID-19. Our current priority is to hear from high-risk groups only:
- health care providers who are seeking or reporting information;
- residents who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19; and
- health care workers or essential services workers who are experiencing symptoms.
Not everyone requires testing. Most people with mild symptoms will recover on their own at home. It is recommended to rest, drink fluids, eat well and stay home. You do not need to contact Public Health. As always, if you have severe symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.
The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 is to:
- stay home when ill;
- cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve;
- wash hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub;
- clean and disinfect objects and surfaces; and
- do your best to keep at least two metres away from others.
Residents are encouraged to stay informed by regularly reviewing credible information sources. For more information on COVID-19 including confirmed cases in Halton, symptoms, risks and when to contact Halton Region Public Health, please visit halton.ca/COVID19. To get the latest information on cases in Ontario and to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19, please visit ontario.ca/coronavirus (external link).
The Regional Municipality of Halton serves 580,000 residents in the City of Burlington, the Town of Halton Hills, the Town of Milton, and the Town of Oakville. Halton Region is committed to meeting the needs of its residents through the delivery of cost-effective, quality programs and services, including water and wastewater; Regional roads and planning; paramedic services; waste management; public health; social assistance; children’s and seniors’ services; housing services; heritage programs; emergency management and economic development. For more information, call 311 or visit Halton Region’s website at halton.ca.
Joseph Brant Hospital (JBH) is a full service community teaching hospital serving more than 185,000 residents in the communities of Halton and Hamilton, including Burlington, Waterdown, Flamborough, Milton and Stoney Creek, with a skilled staff of 194 physicians, 1,911 full- and part-time staff and more than 700 volunteers. In conjunction with McMaster University, JBH is a Clinical Education site, and designated as an Academic Community Teaching Hospital with an expanded campus which includes the seven-storey state-of-art Michael Lee-Chin & Family Patient Tower which features a new Emergency Department, 172 acute inpatient beds, 9 new Operating Rooms and post-anaesthetic care unit to support expanded medical, surgical and outpatient services. JBH is also a partner member of the Burlington Ontario Health Team. For more information, visit josephbranthospital.ca (external link).
905-825-6000, ext. 7490
Manager, Corporate Communications
Joseph Brant Hospital
905-632-3737, ext. 2062