SUDBURY -- The first case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Timmins area by Dr. Lianne Catton, medical officer of health for the Porcupine Health Unit.

In a media release issued late Thursday night, the health unit says a male in their 50s returned to Timmins after recent international travel.

He developed respiratory symptoms and notified health officials on March 17. 

Testing was done in the man’s home by the Cochrane District Emergency Medical Services paramedicine program the same day. According to the health unit, paramedics took all necessary infection prevention and control precautions. 

After testing, the patient has remained in self-isolation at home, following public health guidance and monitoring.

"The PHU continues to work closely with local, regional and provincial partners to monitor and detect any cases of COVID-19 in the community. We thank those partners for their ongoing co-operation and support," said Dr. Catton.

While not unexpected, the health unit says this confirmed case reinforces the need for all residents to follow public health recommendations. Social distancing – avoiding crowds and close contact with those outside of your immediate family, as well as staying home as much as possible are important measures for all – even if you feel well.

"Every community member plays an essential role in reducing the spread and impact of COVID-19 in the PHU area and protecting those at greater risk for this infection," said Dr. Catton.

At this time, all international travellers are advised to self-isolate for 14 days upon return to Canada.

If any symptoms occur,

  • Use the online assessment tool and
  • Contact the Porcupine Health Unit at 705-267-1181, extension 2919 or toll free: 1-800-461-1818, extension 2919

As of 7:30 a.m. Friday, March 20:

  • 104 COVID-19 tests submitted locally
  • 64 negative results
  • 1 positive result

This is a developing story, more to come, check back for updates.