First returning Algoma traveller tests positive for COVID-19

COVID-19 in Algoma

This evening Algoma Public Health confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in the Algoma region.

A woman in her 50s returned to Algoma on March 15, 2020 from the United States.  She developed respiratory symptoms and notified Algoma Public Health (APH) on March 16, 2020. APH facilitated EMS transportation to Sault Area Hospital for testing the same day.

EMS and hospital staff took all necessary infection prevention and control precautions. Following testing, the patient was discharged home where she remains in self-isolation, following public health guidance and monitoring.

Any Algoma resident who flew on Delta 4212 into Chippewa County International Airport on March 15, 2020 at approximately 10:45 p.m. are asked to contact Algoma Public Health or their local public health authority.

“Given the transmission of the virus around the world, having a confirmed case in our region is not unexpected,” said Dr. Jennifer Loo, Associate Medical Officer of Health. “Across Algoma communities, our health professionals and partners across all sectors have been preparing for COVID-19.  Now, more than ever, we are asking all Algoma citizens to help prevent the spread of this virus, especially through the use of social distancing measures.”

The Public Health Agency of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health continue to advise all travellers to self-isolate for 14 days after arriving back in Canada from international travel.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild to severe and include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing (shortness of breath).

To protect loved ones and those around them, Algoma residents who are feeling sick should stay home until they no longer have any symptoms.

  • If you are feeling unwell and have recently returned from travel,
    • Take a self-assessment online using the Ministry of Health self-assessment tool
    • Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000
    • Consult your family physician or nurse practitioner
    • Call Algoma Public Health at 705-759-5404 or TF 1-866-892-0172, ext. 5404
  • If you need immediate medical assistance, please call 911, and tell first responders about your symptoms and any recent travel, so that appropriate precautions can be put in place.

To help protect the capacity of our Algoma clinics and hospitals so that they can continue to care for those who need urgent treatment every day, please understand that COVID-19 testing is not recommended or appropriate for everyone.

  • COVID-19 testing is not helpful if you are not sick and have no symptoms.

To reduce the spread of germs including the flu and the COVID-19 APH recommends that you:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just cleaned your hands
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Practice social distancing by avoiding close contact with people outside your immediate families.  This means staying 2 metres apart from others while at work, and while running errands or attending appointments in the community.   Learn more about social distancing.

We continue to encourage people to connect with trusted sources for COVID-19 information. Please visit the SaultOnline COVID-19 page where you will find the latest stories as well as a convient listing of resources for more information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus).

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19


SaultOnline/myAlgoma/ONNtv will be providing coverage of a news conference planned tomorrow, March 18th at 10:30 a.m. at Algoma Public Health with Dr. Jennifer Loo and the city of Sault Ste. Marie.


  1. I am concerned that the hospital sent her home.This person has a highly contagious virus and they send her home ? No quarantine.Given the severity of the situation that makes no sense to me.Just letting her go home opens up many questions.Does she live alone ? Does she live in an apartment ?None of these type of questions would be necessary if she was quarantined.This concerns me..

  2. Thank you to all the health care workers and those who are continuing to supply food and needed services to us all. You are a blessing. Praying that you will all be safe and have needed rest and refreshment in the days to come.

  3. So… she got on the plane with symptoms (assuming this since she went straight to ER less than 24 hrs after landing). She put this entire region at risk due to selfishness. Also, she selfishly went on a vacation ignoring all travel cautions.
    Do you think people like this should be charged with endangering the public?

  4. It won’t get bad if everyone stays inside and listens to what the government is telling us. Of course people are going to get it but the more that listen to what’s being told, the less cases our community will have

  5. Arrived at airport at approximately 10:45, by the time she arrived home it could have been after midnight March 16 .presented at hospital Monday March 16.

  6. Yep. Here we go!! I have family coming back from florida and I still think that anyone coming back to Canada should be quarantined in the U.S. P.s thank you to the selfish people who have now brought it to a city that had no cases!!
    Pissed off! Trudeau, wheres your head?? Shut it down!

    • Not good enough for me
      Travel PERIOD should have been dealt with first and foremost! Secondly, When you hear worldwide virus spreading, most sane people dont get in a plane and expose themselves to huge groups from other countries where the death numbers are higher. I’d like to ask you something. Theres already a first case in Algoma. A woman coming back from Florida, 50 years old and has the virus. Do you have a family or people you care about?
      Children? Theres no such thing as being too safe now, more than ever. Gimme your angry face all day long. You have the right to your opinion, and I have the right to not care! 🤷‍♀️ Roselind De whatever your name apologies

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