The first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the Niagara Region earlier this afternoon as was reported by the St. Catharines Standard and confirmed by the Region.
The 84 year-old man is said to have not contracted it from travelling, according to Dr. M. Mustafa Hirji, the Acting Medical Officer of Health and Commissioner, Public Health for the Niagara Region.
According to Dr. Hirji, the man likely contracted it from a family member who was travelling. His family is now showing mild symptoms and are being tested as well.
The public health department is waiting to release a list of places and people he may have come into contact with. Currently he is in isolation at the St. Catharines general hospital.
Dr. Hirji went on to note however that the risk for Niagara Residents remains low, according to reporting by the St. Catharines Standard.
The City of St. Catharines is also closing all of their recreational and community facilities until April 5 according to the St. Catharines Standard.
Brock University announced earlier today that they are suspending face to face classes and exams for the rest of the winter academic term starting after 5:00 p.m. on Friday, March 13, according to a press release from Brock University Communications.
They are working on a plan to move to alternative forms of class and exam delivery. They also note that the academic term will not be at risk to students.
The campuses are to remain open for operational staff to attend work as scheduled and graduate students will have access to their labs. On-campus residences will stay open.
“At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population in Canada but this could change rapidly,” according to the Health Canada website.
Health Canada does not expect an outbreak in Canada, though they are prepared to respond in the case an outbreak does happen.
For more information regarding Brock’s response to COVID-19, interested individuals can go to: brocku.ca/coronavirus.
The Niagara Region will provide regular updates on the situation in the Region at their website: https://www.niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/default.aspx.
Health Canada will provide regular updates on their website: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/being-prepared.html