First case of COVID-19 reported in Renfrew County

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The first positive laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19 in Renfrew County was announced late Wednesday night. 

The Renfrew County District Health Unit confirmed a woman in her 90s developed symptoms and was tested by Pembroke Regional Hospital (PRH) on March 23. She is currently an inpatient at PRH. 

The health unit said the individual is a resident of a local retirement home and has no recent history of travel.

All necessary precautions were followed to ensure the safety of the patient, the public, and the health care workers, a health unit release stated. The individual is currently in isolation at Pembroke Regional Hospital.  

The health unit said it is working with both the hospital and the retirement home to identify people who could have been exposed and will deliver specific instructions to these individuals on self-isolation and self-monitoring for symptoms. 

The health unit will assume close contacts are probable cases if they develop symptoms. A probable case is defined as:

A person with a fever (over 38 degrees Celsius) and/or onset of (or exacerbation of chronic) cough and any of the following within 14 days prior to onset of illness:o Travel to an impacted area oro Close contact with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 oro Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who has been to an impacted area

ANDo In whom laboratory diagnosis of COVID-19 is not available, recommended, inconclusive, or negative.

“We know that confirmed cases represent only a fraction of disease activity in the community,” said Dr. Robert Cushman, Acting Medical Officer of Health for Renfrew County. “For every oneconfirmed case there are probably 10 cases out in the community and quite possibly 100. The message is clear. COVID-19 is in Eastern Ontario and in Renfrew County.”