Thunder Bay

Fort Frances, Ont., confirms first case of COVID-19 in northwestern Ontario

Northwestern Ontario has its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

Adult recently returned to northwestern Ontario from international travel

The Northwestern Health Unit has confirmed a case of COVID-19 in Fort Frances, Ont. (Patti Fairfield)

Northwestern Ontario has its first confirmed case of COVID-19.

The Northwestern Health Unit said an adult from Fort Frances has tested positive for the virus. The person had been travelling internationally, and recently returned to the community.

"The individual was seen, assessed and tested in Winnipeg," said Dr. Ian Gemmill, the Acting Medical Officer of Health for the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU).

"This person now recovering back at home in Fort Frances and is in self-isolation. To protect the health of the public and to prevent community spread, NWHU immediately began to identify potential sites of exposure and has ensured that the limited number of persons who have come in close contact with the person are in self-quarantine."

The health unit said it wants to assure the public that COVID-19 is not circulating throughout the region, and that this positive case was contracted outside of Canada.
"To date there is no evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in our area, or in most of Canada," said Gemmill, reminding people to wash their hands, and take other preventative measures to avoid getting sick.

"The virus can enter the body only through the nose, eyes, and mouth, so the best prevention methods continue to be washing hands often and not touching one's face."


Jeff Walters


Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff is proud to work in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario. Away from work, you can find him skiing (on water or snow), curling, out at the lake or flying.