2 more cases of coronavirus confirmed in Waterloo region

Two more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Waterloo region.

Public health says cases were acquired on a cruise and in Las Vegas

Two more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Waterloo region. Both reported to Grand River Hospital in Kitchener. (CBC)

Two more cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Waterloo region.

Region of Waterloo Public Health made the announcement on Thursday.

That brings the total number of cases to three, after a case was announced on March 5.

The two new cases involve a woman in her 60s and a man in his 40s who are both Waterloo region residents.

The woman got sick on a cruise that left Puerto Rico on March 1, visited St. Thomas, St. Martin, Barbados, Dominique and Grenada before returning to Puerto Rico. She developed symptoms after returning to Canada on March 8, according to public health officials.

The woman did not have symptoms during travel, officials said, and began to self-isolate at home when symptoms developed.

She took private transportation to Grand River Hospital on Tuesday to be tested.

She has since been released with mild respiratory symptoms.

Medical officer of health Hsiu-Li Wang said two of the family members of the woman were also on the cruise and are now showing symptoms. They have also been tested and public health is awaiting results.

"We're in a state where we have to be very vigilant and monitor very closely and we'll see this could evolve quickly," said Wang.

The third confirmed case is a man in his 40s who visited Las Vegas.

Health officials believe he acquired coronavirus while there.

He reportedly developed symptoms after returning to Canada and took private transportation to Grand River Hospital on Tuesday.

The man is also now at home.

Most people testing negative, health officer says

"Most of the people that have symptoms right now in Waterloo region and that are tested for coronavirus do not have the virus," Wang said. "To give you a sense, over 90 people in the region have been tested for coronavirus and are negative."

Health officials said testing for the virus is ongoing and more confirmed cases are expected, and future updates about cases found in the region would be made available on a regional website.

"I would be concerned if we had no cases because we know that there are lots of people in our community who have travelled, and there's lots of places in the world where there's high levels of coronavirus activity," said Wang. "We want to make sure that if they come back here and they have the virus, then they can be appropriately managed and we can help prevent further spread."

Wang said she recommends people create plans for if they have to stay home from work, including child care and elder care. People are also being reminded to wash their hands.


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