Renfrew County has confirmed their first positive test of COVID-19 in the region.

The Renfrew County District Health Unit says a woman in her 90’s developed symptoms and was tested by Pembroke Regional Hospital. The individual is a resident of a retirement home in the County and has no recent history of travel. RCDHU says all necessary precautions were followed to ensure the safety of the patient, the public and the health care workers involved. The patient is currently under isolation at Pembroke Regional. The Health Unit says they are working with both the hospital and retirement home to identify people who could have been exposed. They say they will deliver specific instructions to these people on self-isolation and self-monitoring for symptoms. Dr Robert Cushman says that confirmed cases represent only a fraction of disease activity in the community.

The RCDHU will assume people are possible cases if they develop a fever over 38 degrees Celsius and the onset of a cough. If 14 days prior they had travelled to an impacted area, had close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, or had close contact with a person with respiratory issues who has been to an infected area, they will be assumed to have contracted the disease.

The Health Unit is reminding residents that social distancing will help prevent the spread of COVID-19. They say to avoid non-essential trips into the community, keep windows down if you are travelling by taxi or ride share, and to avoid visiting long term care homes, retirement homes, hospitals or other care settings. They also say to talk to your supervisor, manager or employer about working from home, do meetings virtually instead of in person, avoid sending children to daycare and above all, stay home. They also say to frequently wash your hands with soap or alcohol based hand rub, cover your mouth or nose when you sneeze or cough, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, avoid contact with sick people and stay home if you are ill.

The RCDHU says that if you think you may have COVID-19 to stay home and use the Ontario Government’s self-assessment tool