SUDBURY -- Ontario Public Health officials have confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in the Sudbury and Manitoulin districts late on Tuesday night.

That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Ontario to 37 at the time of publishing. As of the morning of March 11, five of the province's cases have recovered, 465 cases are currently under investigation and 2,888 have tested negative for the virus.

Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, the Medical Officer of Health with Public Health Sudbury and Districts, said the patient is a man in his 50s who went to the emergency department of Health Sciences North on March 7.

Health officials say the Sudbury hospital took all necessary precautions and the patient was discharged after testing and remains in self-isolation.

The patient has reportedly experienced cough and shortness of breath.

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A public health investigation is ongoing but has revealed that the man attended the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto on March 2 and 3.

Conference organizers say the mineral and mining convention attracts over 25,000 people from 135 countries to the annual international event.

The conference website listed a number of additional health measures followed this year in light of concerns around the coronavirus. They include: increased cleaning of "high-volume touchpoints," such as touchscreens and door handles, and increased availability of hand sanitizer.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford was in attendance at the PDAC conference on March 2.

Ford's director of media relations and press secretary, Ivana Yelich, says the premier has not experienced any COVID-19 symptoms.

"Premier Ford is in good health and has experienced none of the symptoms related to COVID-19. He remains vigilant and encourages all Ontarians to do the same by taking the preventive actions recommended by our incredible health officials," said Yelich Wednesday morning.

"Having a confirmed case in our area is not unexpected given the transmission of this virus around the world," said Dr. Sutcliffe. "Although this is concerning, as a community and as a health system, we have been preparing for COVID-19. Our focus is on breaking the chain of transmission to limit the spread of infection and as a precautionary measure, we are asking those who attended PDAC 2020 to monitor for symptoms for 14 days."

If you suspect you have symptoms of COVID-19, call Telehealth Ontario for medical advice at 1.866.797.0000 (TTY 1.866.797.0007) or Public Health Sudbury & Districts at 705.522.9200 (toll-free 1.866.522.9200). Be sure to mention your symptoms and your travel history, including the countries you visited. If you are ill and must visit a health care professional, call ahead and tell them that you have a respiratory illness. You may be asked to wear a mask while waiting for or receiving treatment to prevent the spread of illness. If you need immediate medical attention, call 911 and mention your travel history and symptoms.

Health officials say the virus is not circulating locally at this time.

Latest global coronavirus statistics at the time of publishing:

Number of global cases: 118,745

Number of global recoveries: 64,740

Number of global deaths: 4,284

More to come on this developing story…