PM monitoring health after attending conference where participant tested positive for COVID-19
TORONTO -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says that he is heeding the advice of heath officials but has not been tested for COVID-19 after speaking at an international mining conference attended by a man who later tested positive for the virus.
Trudeau told a press conference March 11, where he announced $1 billion in funds to combat COVID-19, that instead he is “following Dr. Tam’s (head of Public Health Agency of Canada) recommendations in order to keep myself and my family safe."
Ontario Public Health officials have confirmed a positive case of the new coronavirus in a Sudbury, Ont. man in his 50s who was experiencing coughing and shortness of breath.
An ongoing public health investigation has revealed that the man attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto on March 2 and 3. Trudeau spoke at the conference on March 2.
The man went to an emergency department on March 7 and health officials say the Sudbury hospital took all necessary precautions and, after testing, the patient was discharged into self-isolation.
“Although this is concerning, as a community and as a health system, we have been preparing for COVID-19,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury and District Medical Officer of Health.
“Our focus is on breaking the chain of transmission to limit the spread of infection and as a precautionary measure, we are asking those who attended PDAC 2020 to monitor for symptoms for 14 days.”
Meanwhile, Minister of Natural Resources Seamus O’Regan, who was also at the mining conference, has entered self-isolation after a doctor recommended he get tested for COVID-19 due to an illness he’s been suffering from.
O’Regan tweeted on Tuesday evening that he’s been dealing with “a persistent head cold for a few days” and that he decided to contact a doctor out of caution.
A spokesperson for the minister said O’Regan has been tested for COVID-19 and is awaiting the results.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford also attended the conference but is in “good health” and not experiencing any symptoms related to COVID-19, his office confirmed to CTV News Toronto.
“He remains vigilant and encourages all Ontarians to do the same by taking the preventive actions recommended by our incredible health officials,” a spokesperson for the premier’s office, Ivana Yelich, said on Wednesday morning.
Provincial Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs Greg Rickford also attended the mining conference at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, which took place from March 1 to 4.
Conference organizers say the event attracts nearly 26,000 people from 132 countries to the event. Organizers took extra health measures for this year’s event including cleaning “high-volume touchpoints” such as touchscreens and door handles and providing extra hand sanitizer.
With files from CTV Northern Ontario’s Chelsea Papineau, CTVNews.ca’s Ben Cousins and CTV News Toronto’s Kayla Goodfield