This morning, Algoma Public Health (APH) had a press conference. Members of the public could not attend. The chairs were spaced an eerie six feet apart for “social distancing” even though the media crammed together at the front of the room.
Dr. Jennifer Loo, Associate Medical Officer of Health/Director of Health Protection, spoke first. She confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in Algoma. Late last night, APH sent a press release confirming the first case. The individual returned to Algoma through the Chippewa County International Airport in Michigan. APH would not release any more information about the patient.
Dr. Loo asked the public to stay at home if they have any of the COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing). It is safe to live a normal life for the time being.
APH and other healthcare partners are attempting to “flatten the curve” which means no spike in cases. They asked people to use social distancing when in public. Social distancing is staying six feet apart from other people. Dr. Loo warned COVID-19 could overwhelm our healthcare capacity.
Mayor Christian Provenzano spoke after Dr. Loo. Yesterday, he had a conference call with Doug Ford and other mayors about what the Ontario government will do to help local governments.
The mayor said, “Algoma Public Health are the experts” and we can trust them.
According to Mayor Provenzano, the city is prepping for a potential surge and the “pandemic is the foremost priority” for the city. He understands that many local businesses under pressure especially financial but insisted on the health and safety of individuals as the primary goal for everyone.
The mayor acknowledged people are worried about their health, family, food, and financial well-being. The city is working to keep essential services working and employees healthy and working.
I asked Dr. Loo, “when was the first test in Algoma?” She was not sure when but at least two weeks ago. They conducted most of the tests at Sault Area Hospital.
When questioned about where did the first positive COVID-19 case travel? Dr. Loo responded that the first positive case only travelled to several US states.
For more information, please see Algoma Public Health