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Latest Toronto COVID-19 case attended large gathering

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TORONTO, ON., March 11, 2020 – Public Health Sudbury and Districts, made a statement Tuesday that a man in his 50s tested positive for COVID-19 after attending the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) conference in Toronto on March 2 and 3. This annual event attracts approximately 25,000 attendees from more than 130 countries.

Anyone who attended the conference in Toronto is now being asked to monitor themselves for symptoms, such as a fever or a cough, for the next 14 days, according to Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health for Public Health Sudbury and Districts.

Included among the attendees at the PDAC conference were Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Ontario Premier Doug Ford and a number of other provincial and federal dignitaries and business leaders.

On Wednesday Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, made the following statement on this COVID-19 situation in Toronto:

Late yesterday, we learned of a person who has COVID-19 with an exposure setting in Toronto. For this situation, we have been in direct contact with our colleagues at Public Health Sudbury and District and we are actively engaged in investigating this person’s potential exposures in Toronto, which includes a large gathering.

When we are notified of cases and contacts of infectious diseases both locally and from other jurisdictions, we use current evidence to carefully assess the potential health risk of people and their individual situations. We then provide education, further instructions and to reduce the potential of virus spread. We also do this work for measles, mumps and hepatitis A, not just for COVID-19. 

Toronto Public Health is conducting a detailed investigation of this person’s activities while they were in Toronto. As we do for all investigations, we actively identify people who may have been directly exposed to COVID-19 and actively follow up with them.

In general, large gatherings with transient interactions including walking by a person who may be infected COVID-19 or briefly being in the same room with that person are considered a low risk.

Given the global circumstances, it is not surprising that this case has been identified.

Know what to look for

Individuals who attend events and large gatherings are reminded to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 which includes fever (greater than 38 degrees Celsius), new onset of cough and difficulty breathing. Being in close contact with someone who does not have COVID-19, though was exposed to someone with COVID-19, does not require public health follow up. If symptoms including a cough, fever or difficulty breathing develop, then you should contact your local public health department. Otherwise, we recommend continuing with your regular routines and activities. 

We will keep people updated as new facts are confirmed. In the meantime, we encourage people to continue to stay informed by regularly reviewing evidence-based, credible sources of information about this situation.

We are updating our website, toronto.ca/coronavirus, as new facts are confirmed. Residents can also call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 8p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ask questions. Translation is available in many languages.

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