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Thousands of attendees at Vancouver dental conference told to self-isolate immediately –



Nearly 15,000 people who attended a dental conference in Vancouver in early March have been told to self-isolate immediately by B.C.’s provincial health officer who said multiple cases of coronavirus have been traced to the event.

On Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry said 30 additional cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in B.C. since Saturday, bringing the total in the province to 103.

Henry said at least four of those new cases are related to an infected person who attended the Pacific Dental Conference, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre March 5 to 7.

Henry said cases of COVID-19 identified in other areas of the country have also been traced back to the Vancouver conference.

According to Vancouver Coastal Health, the initial person who has tested positive for COVID-19 attended the conference on March 6 between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Henry says anyone who attended the event must self-isolate for 14 days.

“They should not be at work. They should not be at school. They should not be around others,” said Henry.

If symptoms develop, people are asked to contact 811 or their health care provider. Only if symptoms are severe, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, should British Columbians call 911 or go to the Emergency Department.

You might choose to self-isolate at home if you’ve been exposed, or think you’ve been exposed, to COVID-19. Ellen Mauro explains what to do. 1:50

Self-isolated individuals should not go to work, school, any public areas or use public transport or taxis.

Vancouver Coastal Health issued a release on March 12 saying the risk to participants was extremely low and attendees could continue to work as long as they did not develop symptoms.

Henry reversed that advice with Monday’s announcement. 

Record attendance

Dr. David Ciriani, president of the Kamloops and District Dental Society, said the conference set records this year for attendance.

“Traditionally, attendance there is probably about, oh, just about 90 per cent of the dentists in the province,” Ciriani said from his home, where he is now in self-isolation.

Ciriani and many of his colleagues are shutting down their offices, suspending elective procedures and trying to find alternatives — namely any dental staff who didn’t attend the conference — for patients who are dealing with severe pain or infection.

“The degree of dental services available across the province is going to be really curtailed,” he said.

“This is unchartered territory for all of us.”

Suspending services recommended

In a statement, the College of Dental Surgeons of British Columbia (CDSBC) said it recommends all elective and non-essential dental services be suspended at once. Treatment for emergencies such as infection, acute pain and trauma can continue.

The CDSBC is asking all registrants to do a pre-treatment risk assessment with each patient, ideally by telephone, before performing any treatment. That assessment will be used to determine if there is any risk to the oral health provider, the patient or the public and if so, the patient will be referred elsewhere or the treatment postponed.

The CDSBC is also cancelling all in-person meetings and non-essential travel for staff.

Health authorities recommend self-isolation for 14 days and monitoring for symptoms such as fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at

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Two new COVID-19 cases in Middlesex-London, three in Huron-Perth – CTV News London



There are two new COVID-19 cases in Middlesex-London region and three new cases in Huron Perth, according to local health officials.

On Saturday, the Middlesex-London Health Unit reported that the two new cases are both men, one in his 50s, the other in his 60s.

Although it’s unclear at this time how they contracted the virus or if they are in hospital or self-isolating at home.

That brings the total number of cases to 25 in Middlesex-London.

Meanwhile, Huron Perth Public Health confirmed three more cases on Saturday, for a total of five in the region.

The first new case is a man in his 60s from Stratford who had close contact with two confirmed cases in London. He currently in self-isolation at home.

The second case is a St. Marys woman who works in healthcare but had no travel or contact with confirmed cases.

The third case is a man in his 60s from South Huron who has since been transferred to London Health Sciences Centre. He too, had no travel history or contact with positive cases.

“We were not surprised to receive these three new cases in Huron Perth,” says Dr. Miriam Klassen, Medical Officer of Health in a news release. “The new cases confirm that we are now seeing local spread in our area, which is a similar pattern to what has been showing up across Ontario.”

Here are some tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • 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

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Second case of COVID-19 announced in Thunder Bay –



THUINDER BAY – A day after reporting the city’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, the Thunder Bay District Health Unit has confirmed a second, unrelated case.

The case is travel-related and involves an individual in their twenties, who returned from the United States about two weeks ago. They developed symptoms while self-isolating at home, informed the health unit, and were tested at the hospital’s COVID-19 assessment centre.

The health unit says it immediately began an investigation to determine others who may have been exposed through contact with the individual while they were infectious, saying it has now contacted an unspecified number of people.

“The public health investigation and follow-up is ongoing, however, it is clear that people have been taking precautions including self-isolating,” said Janet DeMille, medical officer of health at TBDHU. “This is important as it helps contain the virus to a group of closely linked individuals and reduces the likelihood of spread in the community.”

The new case brings the total number of confirmed cases in Northwestern Ontario to four.

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London man dies of COVID-19 as more positive cases reported –



A London man has died of COVID-19 as public health officials across the region report new cases Saturday. 

CBC London has learned that a man in his 70s, who had previously been admitted to hospital, has died. It’s the first death in the Middlesex-London region since the pandemic was declared.

Two new cases of the virus were reported by the Middlesex-London Health Unit Saturday, bringing the total number of positive cases in the city to 25.

Public health officials say a man in his 50s and a man in his 60s have contracted the virus, but details have not yet been released regarding how the men were infected or whether they’re in hospital or self-isolation. 

Meanwhile, Huron Perth Public Health officials have confirmed three new cases in the area, including a healthcare worker.   

She is in her 40s, from St. Marys, and had no travel history or known contact with any confirmed case. She’s currently in self-isolation at home. 

A man who presented at South Huron Hospital, and has since been transferred to London Health Sciences Centre, also tested positive. He’s in his 60s and has no travel history or known contact with positive cases.

Another man with close contact to two Londoners already diagnosed with the virus, has also tested positive. He’s in his 60s and is in self-isolation at home in Stratford.

Huron Perth currently has five cases, including a man in critical condition in hospital. 

Oxford and Elgin counties, and the city of St. Thomas have not yet reported Saturday on whether there are new cases. As of Friday, there were five cases in that area. 

More people in hospital

As the number of positive cases grow, so do hospital admissions. The London Health Science Centre said there are four people, two at University Hospital and two at Victoria Hospital in intensive care units. 

Across Ontario, the number of confirmed COVID-19 patients in intensive care units has doubled in less than two days.

There were 43 patients hospitalized in Ontario’s ICUs on Friday, up from 29 on Thursday and 17 on Wednesday, according to figures from the province’s associate chief medical officer of health, Dr. Barbara Yaffe.

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