Niagara Region Public Health is investigating a fourth confirmed case of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in a 58-year-old male with a history of travel.

According to a statement issued by Niagara Region on Wednesday evening, this individual is the previously mentioned family member of Niagara’s first case. The positive test result supports Public Health’s working hypothesis that this 58-year-old person was the source of infection to the first case. This latest case was identified as the likely source of infection through “intense case investigation and contact tracing which is at the core of Public Health’s current response to COVID-19,” said the statement.

The new case has fully recovered, but remains in isolation at home while awaiting confirmation that he is no longer infectious according to stringent provincial protocols.

This person experienced a very mild illness with only one day of symptoms, and therefore did not suspect COVID-19 infection. Public Health identified him as a possible case only through its earlier investigation of his family member. A public health investigation is now ongoing around identifying any additional infections linked to exposures to this person.

“Discovery of this case is an illustration of how intense public health investigations are preventing local transmission of COVID-19 in Niagara,” said Dr. Mustafa Hirji, medical officer of health (acting), Niagara Region Public Health and Emergency Services. “While there continues to be no evidence of local circulation of COVID-19, we are working determinedly with our health care partners to prepare for when that changes.”

The Region advises that you contact Niagara Region Public Health by calling 905-688-8248 ext. 7019 or toll-free 1-888-505-6074 if you have a fever, or new cough, or shortness of breath and difficulty breathing, and any of the following:
• Travelled outside of Canada in the 14 days before onset of illness
• Close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
• Close contact with a person with acute respiratory illness who travelled to affected areas within 14 days prior to their illness onset

The best way to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19 is to:
• Avoid all non-essential international travel, as recommended by Provincial and Federal health authorities
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub
• Practice social distancing by avoiding unnecessary close interaction with others (e.g. shaking hands, attending large social gatherings)
• Limit non-essential trips into the community
• Stay home if you’re sick
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve
• Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily. Use a disinfectant with a drug information number (DIN) and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
• Call ahead if visiting your health care provider for infectious symptoms so they can plan to protect others from spread

As this is an evolving situation, the Region continues to remind everyone the importance of using credible sources to stay informed.