Thunder Bay

Northwestern Health Unit says one new case of COVID-19 is in asymptomatic person

One of the three most recent cases of COVID-19 in the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), is from a person who shows no signs of the virus.

Person in Sioux Lookout was asymptomatic, had visited other household and personal service providers

Dr. Ian Gemmill is the acting medical officer of health for the Northwestern Health Unit in Ontario. (Northwestern Health Unit )

One of the three most recent cases of COVID-19 in the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), is from a person who shows no signs of the virus.

The NWHU has confirmed three new positive cases of the virus in the last four days. One was confirmed Tuesday morning in a person who lives in the Dryden area, another confirmed over the long weekend is a person who no longer lives in the region, but did have a permanent address in the northwest.

The remaining case, which has health officials scratching their heads a bit more than previous cases, is in Sioux Lookout.

"I think we're going to have to be thinking about this [one] a bit more, and perhaps asking a few more questions," said Dr. Ian Gemmill, the acting medical officer of health for the NWHU.

Gemmill said the person who tested positive showed no symptoms of the virus. They were screened, however, before undergoing some type of medical procedure or test at a hospital, and tested positive for COVID-19.

"And of course, one [could] also never find out what the source is, and that's when we start thinking about could this be local transmission." 

"Because they were not symptomatic, we also believe that they were probably not likely to transmit it very effectively because we know that it's really close contact, and then exposure to the droplets that are caused by coughing, sneezing, laughing, singing, shouting, that sort of thing that can transmit it."

Gemmill said the hope is there was not sufficient transmission to spread the virus.

However, he said the NWHU would be taking the case seriously, and would be doing contact tracing.

He said the person had met with a few other households, and had dealt with some personal service providers, however, they would be at a very low risk of catching the virus from this affected person.

About the Author

Jeff Walters

Reporter/Editor

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.