19 more cases of coronavirus being investigated in Ontario

Ontario's health authorities say that "quite a few" of the cases being investigated are in Toronto and the "vast majority" of those in hospital



Ontario health officials are reporting 19 more cases of possible novel coronavirus being investigated. Another 15 cases have been cleared of the virus.

In a press conference to update the public on efforts to contain the virus, David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer of health, said that “quite a few” of the cases being investigated are in Toronto. Ontario’s associate medical officer of health, Barbara Yaffe, added that “the vast majority” of those are being treated in hospital. Eileen de Villa, Toronto’s medical officer of health, also took part in the press conference.

Williams confirmed in a statement early Monday (January 27) that the wife of the province’s first confirmed case of Wuhan novel coronavirus has tested positive for the virus. According to Williams, she is so far “asymptomatic.”

Authorities say they are working to identify others who may have come in contact with the couple on a recent flight from Wuhan, China. It’s unclear how many passengers on the same flight have been contacted. Officials did not provide a number. The general rule with this type of virus, they confirmed, is to contact people sitting three rows ahead and behind the affected passengers. 

Williams says that it would be up to the federal government, which oversees airports, to decide whether there is a need for flight restrictions from China. But so far the World Health Organization “is confident” that Chinese authorities have placed enough restrictions on travel out of the country for that step not to be taken at this time. Some 80 people have died from the virus in China.

During the press conference, reporters received word via social media that four cases of coronavirus are being reported by long-term-care facilities in Ontario. Williams said that he did not want to speculate on whether those are connected to the current cases noting that a “seasonal” variety of the virus also exists and has been reported in the past in Ontario. 

@nowtoronto

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