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Guelph's first confirmed COVID-19 case in stable condition

A resident of St. Joseph's Health Centre in his 80s is in isolation at the facility
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St. Joseph's Health Centre. Tony Saxon/GuephToday file photo

Guelph's first confirmed COVID-19 case is in stable condition, in isolation at St. Joseph's Health Centre, said Public Health Tuesday morning.

Any staff or residents who are symptomatic will be tested as will anyone who is deemed at risk because they came into close personal contact with the individual while providing care will also be tested, said Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health spokesperson Chuck Ferguson.

On Monday night it was confimed that a man in his 80s who was a resident of a St. Joseph's Health Centre's post-acute unit had the virus.

Post-acute refers to a resident who previously spent time in an acute care facility such as a hospital. He was not a long-term care resident of St. Joseph's.

"A male in his 80s tested positive for COVID-19 and is in stable condition at this time. WDG Public Health is working closely with St. Joseph’s Health Centre to ensure that the ill individual and the facility are managed appropriately," Public Health said in a news release.

“We are working very closely with St. Joseph’s Health Centre to ensure that all appropriate infection control measures are being taken,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

“We know that COVID-19 is circulating in our community and this incident further emphasizes the importance of social distancing. We are asking members of our community to stay home as much as possible and to avoid visits to hospitals, long-term care facilities, or retirement homes unless absolutely essential.”

It was not immediately known how the man may have contacted the virus. Public Health is working with the facility to do contact tracing, said Ferguson.

"Now that confirmed cases are present in our region, many in the public want to know about what do if they think they may be infected. If no symptoms are present, people should continue to monitor themselves for symptoms and get information online from reliable sources."

For mild symptoms, stay home and self-isolate," Public Health said.

For moderate symptoms –fever, cough or shortness of breath – individuals should contact their family doctor to arrange an over-the-phone assessment. They may direct individuals to an assessment clinic. 

Individuals who are sent to an assessment clinic will be seen by a clinician who will provide further instruction. If a test is required, the clinician will make the arrangements. Not all individuals will be tested once assessed.

For severe symptoms, please go to your nearest emergency room or call 911.