Thunder Bay

Self-isolation after travel outside northwestern Ontario necessary says Thunder Bay hospital official

Officials with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) issued new protocols Friday regarding self-isolation after travelling within the province, but outside northwestern Ontario, telling people they need to self-isolate for 14 days if returning to the region from Toronto or Ottawa.

People returning to Thunder Bay from Toronto or Ottawa need to self-isolate for 14 days

Dr. Stewart Kennedy speaks at the microphone, flanked by members of the incident management team at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. Kennedy stated Friday that people returning to northwestern Ontario from Toronto or Ottawa need to self-isolate for 14 days. (CBC News)

Officials with the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC) issued new protocols Friday regarding self-isolation after travelling within the province, but outside northwestern Ontario.

"We're concerned that while we've been free of any COVID-19 at the Hospital, in Toronto and Ottawa there is community spread, and there is constant travel between affected areas and Thunder Bay," reads a statement from Dr. Stewart Kennedy, the COVID-19 incident manager at the TBRHSC. 

"Self-isolating for 14 days after any travel outside of northwestern Ontario is necessary to prevent community spread of COVID-19 in Thunder Bay."

Kennedy added that being proactive by self-isolating is meant to not only control the spread of the virus, or flatten the curve, but to actually decrease it.

"We can do this if we're responsible to each other, and call each other out on activity that may not be appropriate, like not keeping social distance, and not self-isolating. We all have a responsibility to prevent the spread here in Thunder Bay and the region," said Kennedy.

He added that any spread of the virus in long-term care facilities in the city could be disastrous, underlining the importance of "following the rules".

"That's our most fragile population. We must all work to prevent that, and we can do it by following the rules," he said

The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 on Friday March 27.  A man in his 60s tested positive after returning home to Thunder Bay following a weeklong trip to Florida.

According to the TBDHU, he was already in self-isolation when he began experiencing symptoms.

 

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