This Version Posted: April 1, 2020

The local Medical Officer of Health today reported that a man in his 90s is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Haliburton County. 

The individual arrived by ambulance at Haliburton Highlands Health Services (HHHS) on March 30 after presenting with abdominal pain. He was subsequently diagnosed with pneumonia and tested for COVID-19 with results today confirming he is positive. The man has no travel history and has not been in direct contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. The man, a resident of Haliburton County, was admitted to hospital, isolated, and is recovering.

This announcement now means there are residents confirmed to have COVID-19 in all three of the counties served by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Health Unit.

“We are so pleased to hear that this man is recovering,” says HKPR Medical Officer of Health Dr. Lynn Noseworthy. “We know that COVID-19 can be devastating for our older population and that is why we are imploring everyone to do their part in stopping the spread of COVID-19. This new case is another vivid reminder that we must all take steps – like self-isolating, handwashing and physical distancing – to protect ourselves and others from the virus.”

Dr. Noseworthy says the Health Unit has been working closely with HHHS throughout the pandemic and that the hospital has put numerous measures in place in anticipation of a positive case.  This includes active screening of staff, limiting the points of entry to the hospital, and restricting visitors to the facility. When the man presented at the hospital the hospital also took the appropriate precautions to ensure there was limited risk to anyone else at the hospital at that time. 

“I want to thank our dedicated staff team at HHHS who have been working hard to ensure we were prepared with all of the right protocols and precautions in place to address local COVID-19 cases,” says Carolyn Plummer, CEO and President of HHHS. “We will continue to take the steps required to protect the health and safety of our community, patients, residents, clients, staff and physicians, and encourage everyone to do their part to keep our community safe.”On March 31, 2020, HHHS, in collaboration with the Haliburton Highlands Family Health Team and Haliburton County opened a COVID-19 Assessment Centre in the parking lot of the Haliburton Family Medical Centre.  The assessment centre is staffed by health care providers who will complete a phone assessment and advise of next steps, which could include instructions on self-monitoring, self-isolating or possible testing. Not everyone will be tested, and testing is by appointment only.

If a resident thinks they may have COVID-19 symptoms they should:

  • Complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment at Ontario.ca/coronavirus
  • If indicated by the self-assessment results, contact the Haliburton County COVID-19 Community Assessment Centre at 705-457-1212 (press 6) during regular business hours.
  • If symptoms are severe, please call 911 and alert the dispatcher to the symptoms.

If you have symptoms, before visiting any healthcare facility, call ahead, let them know about travel history and symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, difficulty breathing) so that they can make special arrangements to see you quickly and ensure that they use proper infection control measures.

“We are all working together to keep our residents healthy,” says Dr. Noseworthy. “We need everyone to do their part by staying home, practising physical distancing and washing their hands regularly. We are in this together.”