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New case of COVID-19 in Toronto, patient had travelled to Iran

Last Updated Feb 26, 2020 at 2:27 pm EDT

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP)

Ontario’s chief medical officer of health has confirmed a new positive case of COVID-19 in Toronto.

In a release on Wednesday, the province said a woman in her 60s presented herself at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre’s emergency department with a travel history to Iran.

“As per established infection prevention and control protocols, the patient was cared for at the hospital using all appropriate precautions, including being isolated as she was tested for COVID-19,” the Ministry of Health said.

She was sent home the same day and went into self-isolation.

Watch: Toronto’s medical officer of health describes how patient was diagnosed

A sample has been sent to the National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg for confirmation.

The Ministry of Health said Toronto Public Health is following up with the patient and looking into people she had close contact with.

This is the second case of COVID-19 in Toronto this week, which was confirmed positive by the provincial and national labs.

In that case, officials said a woman in her 20s had been in China since the end of last year and had traveled multiple places — including a stop in both Wuhan and Hubei province. She had picked up a cough during her travels but it appeared to be getting better by the time she headed back to Toronto.

This is also the fifth case of COVID-19 in Ontario. Three of the cases – a married couple from Toronto and a university student living in London – were all cleared last week by health officials following two negative tests at least 24 hours apart. All had recently travelled to the region of China at the centre of the global outbreak.

So far, there are 12 cases of COVID-19 in Canada, but health officials said the risk of the virus spreading in this country is still low.

The virus has infected 80,000 globally and recently spread to Iran and countries in Europe.