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Timmins area hits 2-week mark with no new COVID-19 cases

A seventh death was reported yesterday
2020-05-11 PHU building
The Porcupine Health Unit. Maija Hoggett/TimminsToday

While there have been no new COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days, a seventh virus-related death was reported yesterday.

The Porcupine Health Unit (PHU) reported the latest death yesterday. It is the fifth in Timmins related to the virus since the start of the pandemic, and the seventh overall for the region. 

It was a woman in her 70s who was admitted to hospital who tested positive April 21. The case is related to the outbreak at Timmins and District Hospital, which was declared over May 11. This is the third death related to the outbreak.

To date, there have been 65 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the region. Of those, 55 are resolved and seven people have died. The health unit is following three known active cases. The last positive test was reported Monday, May 11. 

The health unit is aware of 4,630 tests being done in the region, which is an increase of 38 from the last report. There are 168 tests under investigation.

"In addition to testing for people with symptoms of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health has expanded testing guidelines to include people who are concerned that they have been exposed to COVID-19 and those who are at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their employment, including essential workers like health care workers and grocery store employees. The PHU and community partners will work together to ensure those at risk of COVID-19 have access to testing. The PHU is also working on surveillance initiatives with congregate living settings and is starting with retirement homes," reads today's update.

For the local confirmed cases, 41 have been in Timmins. Of those, 33 cases are resolved and five 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.

People are asked to stay home if you're not well and to practice physical distancing when you are out. If you can't maintain a two-metre distance from others, consider wearing a face covering. You should also limit your outings to stores, wash your hands often, and avoid touching your face.

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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