Thunder Bay

2 new cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Red Lake, Ont.

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) confirmed Monday that two cases of COVID-19 have been found in Red Lake, Ont.
Dr. Ian Gemmill is the acting medical officer of health for the Northwestern Health Unit in Ontario. He says the latest two COVID-19 cases belong to a couple in Red Lake, who had returned to the community from travelling internationally. He says they immediately went into self-isolation. (Northwestern Health Unit )

The Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU) confirmed Monday that two cases of COVID-19 have been found in Red Lake, Ont.

The community itself is remote, at the end of Highway 105, about 175 kilometres north of the Trans-Canada Highway, and about 570 kilometres northwest of Thunder Bay. 

The cases are the first to be confirmed in Red Lake.

In the unit's Monday briefing, Dr, Ian Gemmill, the acting medical officer of health for the NWHU said the new cases are a couple, who travelled internationally. He said their infections are related to another person with COVID-19 who was also with the couple, but who lives in Manitoba.

Gemmill said the couple self-isolated immediately, and did not appear to have spread the virus to anyone else.

"We've had very good luck here, in that all the people who have tested positive in our area have been extremely responsible, and have understood the requirement for isolation, and minimzied any contact with others."

The major employer in the area, Evolution Mining, which operates three gold mines in the municipality, suspended its fly-in/fly-out operations to the community just last week. However, mining contractors are still driving to and from the community.

The NWHU has previously confirmed cases in Dryden, Sioux Lookout, Fort Frances and Rainy River.

One additional case was listed under NWHU jurisdiction, but the health unit said that person is living in southern Ontario.

NWHU stated on its COVID-19 website Monday that there are seven positive cases under its jurisdiction, with test results pending for 136 cases, while another 283 test have come back negative.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jeff Walters

Former CBC reporter

Born and raised in Thunder Bay, Jeff worked in his hometown, as well as throughout northwestern Ontario.

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