Two other local workers tested positive for COVID-19

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The Brant County Health Unit has confirmed a fourth and a fifth case of COVID-19 in local businesses in the past 10 days.On Sunday, the health unit received a positive test result for a second employee at the Brantford Lowe store.

On Monday, the health unit was informed that an employee who works at both the Ferrero factory in Brantford and the Adidas warehouse in Brant tested positive for COVID-19.

While details of Lowe’s worker-related virus transmission are still under investigation, Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Elizabeth Urbantke said the case was “unrelated to the previously reported case at this workplace and was acquired from interactions outside the store. ”

Lowe’s first employee tested positive for COVID-19 on July 5.

“Despite this, customers who visited this store between June 28 and July 9 should monitor their symptoms associated with COVID-19 until July 23,” Urbantke said Tuesday in his weekly press briefing.

“If residents are concerned about possible exposure, whether or not they have symptoms, I urge them to contact the Brant Community Healthcare System to arrange a test.”

Urbantke said the Ferrero and Adidas worker is in contact with a previously confirmed case of coronavirus “not associated with either workplace”.

“To date, close contact has been established at the Ferrero plant,” said Urbantke. “As a precaution, Ferrero chose to ask additional employees to stay home and get tested before returning to work.

“These employees would be considered to be at low risk of transmission. Through our conversations with Ferrero, we learned that all employees have been ordered to hide and distance themselves from two meters or more from each other when working in the establishment. ”

The doctor said the health unit was still investigating the details of the worker’s work at Adidas.

Earlier this month, a LCBO worker in Burford tested positive for COVID-19 and last Friday it was announced that an employee of the King George Road Walmart had also tested positive.

Urbantke said that since Tuesday, the health unit had not received any other positive results from customers or staff linked to Walmart or LCBO stores.

After a series of new, unreported cases, there have been 10 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Brantford-Brant since Friday. The total number of local cases is now 134 since the start of the pandemic.

Urbantke said six of the new cases are women and four men, between the ages of 20 and over 60.

One of these people is suspected to have contracted the virus through spread to the community, and eight cases are due to close contact with someone else with COVID-19.

Urbantke said the cause of transmission in one case is still under investigation, but was also likely to be in close contact.

None of the last cases required hospitalization and these people isolate themselves at home.

Urbantke said that any increase in the number of cases is worrying and indicates that people must continue to be vigilant about public health recommendations, especially since most of the province will enter phase 3 of reopening Friday.

As part of the relaxed measures, indoor restaurants and bars will be allowed, and fitness centers, cinemas, casinos, theaters and conference centers are among the companies that have received the green light to reopen with public health measures in place.

“With the reopening of many previously closed businesses and services, there may be a tendency to think that we can all simply go back to our previous way of doing things,” said Urbantke. “It certainly isn’t. ”

She said physical remoteness, face coverings and frequent hand washing have become “even more important” to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

On Saturday, an outbreak of COVID-19 was reported at the Brierwood Gardens long-term care and retirement home in Brantford. The outbreak was declared when a staff member, who works in both the retirement home and in a long-term care facility, tested positive.

Urbantke said that since Tuesday, tests have been carried out with residents and staff of Brierwood, without positive results.

There have been four local deaths related to COVID-19.

Of the 134 positive cases to date, 58% are women and 42% men.

The age group with the most cases is 40 to 59 with 36%, followed by 20 to 39 with 31%.

Seventy-three percent of the cases were contracted through close contact with someone with the virus; 16% thanks to dissemination in the community; and 10% by travel.

As of Tuesday, 14,762 tests had been administered, most of them at the Brantford General Hospital Assessment Center.

On Monday, another case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Six Nations of the Grand River, bringing the total number of cases to 15.

Ohsweken public health officials say that contact tracing is underway and that all identified contacts have been instructed to begin self-isolation.

To date, the Six Nations COVID-19 Assessment Center has performed 1,076 tests.

“We all feel a little more comfortable in our daily activities since the start of phase 2 of the recovery plan, but this last confirmed case is a brutal reminder that the virus is still found in and around the territory of the Six Nations, “said Lori Davis Hill, director of the Six Nations Health Service.

“Everyone should continue to behave as if they had the virus and did not want to spread it, and as if everyone had the virus and did not want to contract it.”

Davis Hill said public health officials are also reminding community members of their responsibility for contact tracing, “a tool that continues to be extremely effective in finding and containing the COVID-19 virus, but only when an infected person can list the people they have been in contact with in the past 14 days. ”

“If you can’t remember the names of everyone you’ve been in contact with in the past two weeks, you may be doing too much and you should consider reducing your interactions with others.”

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