The new cases – two attributed to travel and one community-based – brings the number of confirmed cases in the region to 16. The number of probable cases stands at 254 with Public Health, on its website, noting that problems techniques delayed an update on the number of probable cases.
A probable case is considered to be a person with symptoms of COVID-19 who has traveled outside of Canada, who has had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, or who has had close contact with a person with an acute respiratory illness who has traveled outside of Canada within 14 days of the onset of the illness.
Provincially, the number of confirmed cases in Ontario increased by 401 Thursday, bringing the provincial total to 2,793.
Premier Doug Ford, at a press conference on Thursday, acknowledged the dire situation in the province and, as he has often done, encouraged residents to stay home to avoid contracting the “Terrible, terrible virus”.
“The situation is extremely, extremely serious,” said Ford. He again stressed the need for residents to heed warnings from health officials and stay at home because “it is a matter of life and death”.
Ford said it wanted to make sure everyone in Ontario was as informed as possible about the situation and the facts in the province. To do so, he said, the province’s top health care professionals will join him on Friday (today) at a press conference where more information will be available. Ford has suggested that the numbers and facts to be presented will not be pretty.
“In the coming months, we will all have to make tough decisions,” said the Prime Minister. “Avoiding the tragedy we have seen in Italy and Spain will depend on all of us. “
Part of Thursday’s press conference included Ford’s announcement of $ 12 million for mental health due to the stress COVID-19 creates in people’s lives.
“Social isolation can be difficult for everyone,” said Ford. “In these difficult days, we must all remain united.”
Locally, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, medical officer of health and CEO of Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH), will participate in its second live Facebook broadcast on Friday. During this event, he will share information and advice on the COVID-19 pandemic, and answer questions in real time.
To participate in the live event, visit the Hastings Prince Edward Public Health Facebook page, facebook.com/hpepublichealth, at 2:30 p.m. Friday. The video should appear on the main page, but otherwise, click the videos tab to view it.