NORTH BAY -- The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the area.

Health officials say a woman in her 60s returned home from Egypt on March 13 and has tested positive.

The woman had a layover in Germany before landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport and later drove home.

"The science is telling us that for most people they're either asymptotic or they have very mild symptoms and that they recover within one to two weeks," said Dr. Jim Chirico, Medical Officer of Health at a press conference Thursday afternoon.

"How many and how soon will occur will be unknown."

The woman followed Health Canada guidelines and self-isolated when she returned home.
She did not exhibit symptoms for three days but then started a fever and soon developed other COVID-19 symptoms.

The woman called the Health Unit and was referred to the North Bay Regional Health Centre’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre, where she assessed and tested.

"This individual should be highly commended for the actions she took to protect others," said Chirico.

"She's also a great example to demonstrate that the system is working."

The woman did travel with a family member and that person is also self-isolating but is not currently exhibiting symptoms. Chirico says even though there is a case, the risk is still low and there's no need to panic.

"Yes people are afraid but we also have the power to do something about it," said Chirico.

North Bay city staff is looking at creating new measures in hopes of stopping the spread.

"The next step we have is the social side and the city is looking at creating a pandemic social emergency plan working with community partners," said Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch over Skype.

Now, Chirico says her symptoms did not develop within the timeframe it would have to expose others on the flight home.

He reiterates people who are not feeling well should self-isolate and visit the online self-assessment website.