Coronavirus in the Sault?

Photo by Antara

Many rumours are surrounding the coronavirus or COVID-19. What is COVID-19? How is it transmitted from one person to another? What is the threat to Canada? What is the threat to the local community?

COVID-19′s symptoms are severe coughing, fever, and muscle pain. About 80% of people with COVID-19 suffer from mild symptoms and think they have a common cold. COVID-19’s symptoms are like the more serious and dangerous types such as SARS and MERS. 

According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) estimates, the COVID-19′s mortality rate is about 3.4 percent. But, the WHO’s mortality rate is the death toll divided by the confirmed cases. The WHO mortality rate excludes all the mild cases where people do not even know they have it. The South Korean mortality rate is less than 1 percent. South Korea is the largest COVID-19 outbreak outside of China with widespread testing.

There was a rumour shared by people within the medical community to me. At this time, it is purely a rumour that comes from multiple sources. A couple returned from Italy. The husband tested positive for the COVID-19. So far, the wife tested negative, but she is being monitored for coronavirus symptoms.

On March 5, Algoma Public Health (APH) was asked about the coronavirus case and said that there were “no confirmed cases of COVID-19.” So on March 5, Leonardo Vecchio of APH confirmed there were no cases in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma.

What is the process for a confirmed COVID-19 case? First, a person presents COVID-19 symptoms. The medical facility tests for COVID-19. The test gets sent to the Ministry of Health (MOH) for confirmation. If it is positive, the MOH notifies APH. At that time, APH begins a campaign to make the public aware of the virus within the community.

Here is APH’s March 5 response:

Hi Chris,

A case of COVID-19 is diagnosed when a patient tests positive fo COVID-19.

All COVID-19 tests in the province are processed at the Public Health Ontario laboratory.

All positive COVID-19 test results are immediately reported to local public health. This means that Algoma Public Health receives immediate notification of a COVID-19 case in Algoma.

Any statement that there is a positive case in Algoma is false and misinformation is harmful to our communities.

Again, at this time there are no confimed cases of COVID-19 in the Algoma region and it is not spreading in our local communities.

Leo Vecchio
Communication Manager
Algoma Public Health


  1. Where is the Public Health Ontario Laboratory and how long would it take them to receive a sample and then notify Algoma Public Health before the public would be notified?
    Italy went from 1 cases to 5800 since Feb 21….

  2. Your headline should read NOT IN THE SAULT. Many people only read the headline and then freak out. This headline just adds to the foolishness of rumours, panic and misinformation. Enough already! Dont be like the rest and be irresponsible. Good article though.

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