Public Health confirms first case of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) in the region

Posted on Thursday March 05, 2020

Waterloo Region – Region of Waterloo Public Health has received laboratory confirmation of a case of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in Waterloo Region. The illness was acquired during recent travel to Italy.

The confirmed case is a female in her 50s and is a resident of Waterloo Region. It has been determined that she had mild symptoms on flights from Milan to Lisbon (Flight 827; Air Portugal) and then Lisbon to Toronto (Flight 259; Air Portugal) on March 3, 2020. For the passengers on these flights, we are asking them to self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days. We are in the process of working with our provincial and federal partners to obtain the flight manifest. Once we have that information, we will also reach out directly to passengers in close proximity to the case.

Upon arrival to Pearson she took private transportation to Grand River Hospital for assessment and testing. Hospital staff took all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of staff and other patients. The patient is experiencing mild symptoms and has been released from hospital. She is self-isolating at home.

The risk to local residents remains low. Region of Waterloo Public Health continues to work closely with local hospitals, health care partners, the Ministry of Health, Public Health Ontario, and national partners to monitor and detect any cases of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) in the community.

Region of Waterloo Public Health will host a media briefing, in partnership with Grand River Hospital at Regional headquarters (150 Frederick, Kitchener, ON) on Thursday, March 5, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.

It is important to keep in mind that it is also currently cold and flu season and residents will be sick. Residents should continue to protect themselves and the people around them from the spread of germs and viruses by taking the following actions:

  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Sneeze and cough into your sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

We continue to encourage people to connect with trusted sources for coronavirus information including the following websites:

Visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19


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Media contact: 

Julie Kalbfleisch

Manager, Information and Communications

Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services

519-575-4400 ext. 2270

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