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Health unit still following 4 active COVID-19 cases

The number of tests being done has dropped
2020-05-11 PHU building
The Porcupine Health Unit. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

There have been no new positive COVID-19 tests in the Porcupine Health Unit for 11 days, however the number of tests being done has dropped.

To date, there have been 65 confirmed cases of the virus in the region. Of those, 55 are resolved and six people have died. The health unit is following four known active cases.

While there haven't been new cases announced this week, the number of tests being done has also dropped.

The health unit is aware of 4,449 tests being done locally, which is an increase of 54 from the last report. There are 185 tests under investigation.

Last week — from May 10 to 17 — there were 1,162 tests completed. So far this week, 175 tests have been done, according to the numbers reported in the daily updates.

The regular testing numbers do not include the tests that were done in the long-term care surveillance of staff and residents, or workers at the emergency child care homes in the region.

"Although we are seeing a positive trend, we all still need to keep up the public health measures that got us here. Continue to stay home as much as possible, send only one member per family to run errands when possible, wash hands frequently and maintain a physical distance of 2 metres when you are out. If you’re going to be in an area where physical distancing may be challenging, wear a face covering. If you are not well, stay home," reads today's update.

The health unit continues to encourage people to stay home as much as possible.

"Those who choose to head out camping or to their cottage are encouraged to only go with members of their household, bring food and supplies from home, remain in the PHU area if possible, maintain physical distancing, to avoid visiting other cottages or hosting group events, to return home if they start to feel unwell and to be safe while out."

For the local confirmed cases, 41 have been in Timmins. Of those, 33 cases are resolved and four people have died. There have been 23 cases in the area of Cochrane, Matheson, Iroquois Falls, and Smooth Rock Falls. Of those, 21 are resolved and two people have died. There has been one case in the area of Kapuskasing, Opasatika, Val Rita-Harty, Moonbeam, and Fauquier-Strickland and it is resolved.

Symptoms of the virus include cough, fever, and difficulty breathing as well as sore throat/hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, loss of smell or taste, fatigue, muscle aches, runny nose, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and nausea or vomiting.

There are COVID-19 Assessment centres in Timmins, Cochrane, Iroquois Falls, Kapuskasing, Smooth Rock Falls, Hearst and Hornepayne. They are by appointment only and you must be referred by your primary healthcare provider or the health unit.

The PHU COVID-19 hotline is open today from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It can be reached at 705-267-1181 or 1-800-461-1818.

Maija Hoggett

About the Author: Maija Hoggett

Maija Hoggett is an experienced journalist who covers Timmins and area
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