Act like you are asymptomatic: The power of community transmission

Sad news hit Ottawa Wednesday with the first COVID-19 related death in the city. The man was in his 90s and had no travel history.  

“Today is a very sad day for us and especially the family and loved ones of the man who passed away,” said Ottawa’s top doctor, Vera Etches.  

Ottawa Public Health does not release the personal information of its patients, but this does signal how quickly community transmission can spread. 

During her regular briefings, Dr. Etches has indicated the confirmed cases do not offer up the full story of COVID-19 in Ottawa. Etches says there are likely anywhere from hundreds to thousands of unconfirmed cases of novel coronavirus in the city. 

Mayor Jim Watson echoed the sentiment, passing the condolences on to the familas well, saying, “this serves as a sad and important reminder to us of the severity of the situation we are facing.”  

The best thing we can to do, we’ve been told, is to act like anyone of us has COVID-19 right now. The efforts over the past few weeks will be measured against the travelers returning this week from March break.  

Everyone returning to Canada must undergo a mandatory self-isolation. You can read more about self–isolation here 

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