Of the 27 potential cases of the novel coronavirus investigated by the Brant County Health Unit, 15 of them have been tested and came back negative for the virus known as COVID-19.
Nine of the cases are still under investigation, while three of them have been confirmed positive.
The BCHU released details of the two new positive cases on Monday following the confirmation of the virus in a Brant County woman in her 40s who had recently returned from a trip to Mexico. She was the first person in Brant and Brantford to have been found to have the virus which can, in a small percentage of cases, lead to respiratory distress such as pneumonia and sometimes death. Early symptoms can be a chronic cough and fever.
The second confirmed case is a man in his 50s who had travelled to the United States.
The man went to the Brantford General Hospital (BGH) on March 17, when he was assessed and released to go home and self-isolate. While at the hospital, staff took all necessary precautions to ensure their safety and other patients.
BCHU was notified of his hospital visit and followed up with him the same day and has been in regular contact with him since he was assessed.
His condition became worse and he returned to hospital overnight between March 21 and 22, when he was admitted and tested for COVID-19. The test results indicated a positive confirmation for COVID-19. He is currently being treated in critical care.
The second case is a female in her 40s.
The woman works at Cambridge Memorial Hospital and developed mild symptoms while at work and immediately left on March 18. She does not have a history of recent travel. Other potential exposures are still being investigated.
She was assessed and tested at BGH on March 19 and a positive conformation for COVID-19 was received on March 23. She is currently experiencing mild symptoms and continues to self-isolate at home.
BCHU is working to identify any individuals who may have been in close contact with both cases during the period they were symptomatic before self-isolation began. Region of Waterloo Public Health is conducting case management with contacts in their jurisdiction.
As of March 19, the Brant County woman who was first diagnosed with COVID-19 was experiencing mild symptoms and was self-isolating at home.
Since County of Brant, Six Nations of the Grand River and City of Brantford declared a state of emergency on March 19 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, several public agencies have meeting via teleconference every morning to share updated information and mutual aid suggestions, with the primary goal of reducing the risk of community spread of coronavirus Covid-19.
The municipalities declared a state of emergency in solidarity with the Province of Ontario, which has ordered all non-essential businesses to close their physical locations by midnight on Tuesday.
In order to decrease transmission of COVID-19, public health units across the province are now recommending that all residents practice social distancing. Social distancing involves taking steps to limit the number of people you come in close contact with. This will help to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the community.