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Timmins area hits 12-day mark with no new COVID-19 cases

Fewer tests are being done compared to past weeks
2020-05-11 PHU building
The Porcupine Health Unit. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

There have been no new confirmed COVID-19 cases reported in the Timmins area for 12 days.

The number of tests being done in the Porcupine Health Unit region has dropped compared to previous weeks, however.

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

The health unit is aware of 4,478 tests being done locally, which is an increase of 29 from the last report. There are 175 tests under investigation.

Last week — from May 10 to 17 — there were 1,162 tests completed. The week prior to that 948 tests were done. So far this week, 204 tests have been done in the region, 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.

"The current recommendation remains to not visit with others outside your household. Because the weather has been nice, businesses have been reopening and we’ve been hearing about a decrease in cases, people may be tempted to risk it and visit with others. Remember, the best and most caring way to continue helping keep your loved ones and friends safe is to avoid visiting with them in person. Older adults remain the most at risk for complications from COVID-19. During this time, they are likely feeling socially isolated so continue to connect virtually or by phone with them regularly," reads today's update.

"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."

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 11 a.m. to 3 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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