10th COVID-19 case confirmed at CFB Trenton as quarantine draws to a close
More than 200 Canadians who were aboard Grand Princess are supposed to be released Tuesday
- Public Health Agency of Canada says no evidence of spread within CFB Trenton
- PHAC confirms 10 people are infected inside the quarantine
As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in quarantine at CFB Trenton continues to rise, at least one Canadian under lockdown there says she's feeling increasingly powerless.
Carol Ciavaglia, 68, said she and her husband are worried about getting the all-clear to leave the facility on Tuesday as scheduled.
"You get the news. How are you going to take that?" Carol said. "We're both feeling fine, but I'm sort of preparing myself if that should happen."
Ciavaglia and her husband Lynn, 73, were among the more than 200 Canadians aboard the Grand Princess, which docked in Oakland, Calif., earlier this month after a number of passengers and crew tested positive for the respiratory illness.
Ottawa chartered a plane to bring the passengers back to Canada earlier in March.
It was announced last Wednesday that one of the repatriated Canadians was infected with COVID-19 and separated from the others at the base.
By Wednesday, the number of infected had jumped to 9. On Thursday, public health officials confirmed a 10th person at the base has the virus.
According to Lynn Ciavaglia, those confirmed to be infected are now in special isolation wards.
"We were all concerned, of course," he said. "Then, as the number grew, you became a little more apprehensive."
Symptoms seemingly went undetected
The Almonte, Ont., couple worry about how long the infection went undetected at the base — and whether that means they could unknowingly be carrying the virus.
"It seems some of these symptoms took a while to come out for these people that arrived with us," Carol Ciavaglia said by phone Wednesday.
It stresses her out whenever she hears about a new case.
"Every time the number goes up, you think, 'Oh, God, was I near that person?'"
On the plane to Trenton, the repatriated Canadians were packed closely together, she said.
Her husband said the two are planning to leave Trenton on Tuesday, March 24. The group arrived at the base ten days ago and were scheduled to stay only 14 days.
Lynn Ciavaglia said people under quarantine have their temperatures tested twice daily and are routinely questioned.
"They ask the same questions," he said. "'Do you have this? Do you have that? Are you feeling this? Are you feeling that?'"
'Nothing I can do'
But while the couple are concerned, Carol Ciavaglia understands they have little control over the situation.
"There's nothing I can do," she said. "I didn't do anything to get myself into this situation. So, there's nothing I can do."
And if she does have COVID-19, she'd prefer to be at the military base where she'll be cared for quickly.
A spokesperson for Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) said the repatriated Canadians received a full health assessment upon arrival at the base.
The first person confirmed to have the virus and a close contact were immediately moved into isolation to monitor their health and protect the others at the base, PHAC said.
Other cruise ship passengers who exhibited symptoms of the novel coronavirus were similarly "tested and isolated."
"There has been no epidemiological evidence of spread of COVID-19 in quarantine at CFB Trenton. The positive test results (for a total of 10 lab-confirmed cases) are not unexpected given the time between exposure to COVID-19 on the cruise ship and the onset of symptoms in quarantine," the spokesperson wrote by email.
"PHAC continues to conduct epidemiological investigations and remains confident that the integrity of the quarantine measures at CFB Trenton has been maintained."
According to the local public health authority, Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, all infection prevention and control protocols were followed and the risk for those outside the quarantined area remains low.
"The individuals have been in quarantine since arrival at CFB Trenton and will remain in isolation at CFB under the assessment of the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC)," the press release reads.
"The individuals in quarantine have been receiving daily health checks by PHAC nurses."
Lynn Ciavaglia said those under quarantine are also concerned that if the number of infected at CFB Trenton continues to rise, the whole group could be held back from being released.
"It's a small chance that this could be extended, but it is there," he said.
According to PHAC, the departure of cruise ship passengers who aren't showing symptoms is still scheduled for Tuesday.
"The departure dates for travellers currently in isolation will depend on a range of factors including close contact exposure, timing of onset of symptoms and timing of positive testing," the spokesperson said.
Carol said she and her husband are mostly confined to their room but can walk outside during brief periods each day.
The base is heavily secured by military personnel, a private security detail and Red Cross workers wearing masks.
"It's pretty tightly controlled," she said.