Late yesterday, we learned of a person who has COVID-19 with an exposure setting in Toronto. For this situation, we have been in direct contact with our colleagues at Public Health Sudbury and District and we are actively engaged in investigating this person’s potential exposures in Toronto, which includes a large gathering. When we are notified of cases and contacts of infectious diseases both locally and from other jurisdictions, we use current evidence to carefully assess the potential health risk of people and their individual situations. We then provide education, further instructions and to reduce the potential of virus spread. We also do this work for measles, mumps and hepatitis A, not just for COVID-19.
Toronto Public Health is conducting a detailed investigation of this person’s activities while they were in Toronto. As we do for all investigations, we actively identify people who may have been directly exposed to COVID-19 and actively follow up with them. In general, large gatherings with transient interactions including walking by a person who may be infected COVID-19 or briefly being in the same room with that person are considered a low risk.
Given the global circumstances, it is not surprising that this case has been identified. Individuals who attend events and large gatherings are reminded to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19 which includes fever (greater than 38 degrees Celsius), new onset of cough and difficulty breathing. Being in close contact with someone who does not have COVID-19, though was exposed to someone with COVID-19, does not require public health follow up. If symptoms including a cough, fever or difficulty breathing develop, then you should contact your local public health department. Otherwise, we recommend continuing with your regular routines and activities.
We will keep people updated as new facts are confirmed. In the meantime, we encourage people to continue to stay informed by regularly reviewing evidence-based, credible sources of information about this situation. We are updating our website, https://www.toronto.ca/coronavirus, as new facts are confirmed. Residents can also call Toronto Public Health at 416-338-7600, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 8p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000, 24 hours a day, seven days a week to ask questions. Translation is available in many languages.