Everything we know about the coronavirus in Waterloo


The first COVID-19 case in the KW-Region was confirmed Thursday March 5 as a woman who traveled from Milan, Italy.

She presented symptoms including a fever and coughing and later tested positive for the virus at Grand River Hospital.

“When she arrived at the hospital, she was assisted and managed according to the protocol,” Dr. Hsiu-Li Wang, Acting Medical Officer of Health of the Region of Waterloo said, explaining the measures health institutions are taking and how this woman was assisted.

“All hospitals have protocols to manage clients that come in with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough and that have a travel history, so this lady came back from Italy and she acquired the illness in Italy.” 

Wang and her colleagues at the Region of Waterloo gave a press conference Thursday, stating the level of danger residents faced hadn’t changed with this new case/

“When she presented to the hospital with symptoms and a travel history, the hospital took the appropriate steps to have her assessed properly and tested,” Wang said.

“And then because she only had mild symptoms she was released after being assessed and tested and she is now at home in self isolation.”

Wang also said that the woman is “recovering and feeling better.”

Talking about the risk of the expansion of the coronavirus, Wang emphasized that it remains low, once again citing the steps that the infected person took.

“She was a case that acquired it from Italy, and when she came here after she landed at Pearson Airport, she went straight to Grand River Hospital in a private vehicle and then she was appropriately managed at the hospital and then she was sent home.” 

However, it is possible that new COVID-19 cases can be presented in the region.

“With the evolving situation we have internationally, we can expect that there would be more cases in Canada, more cases in Ontario, and likely, more cases in KW Region,” Wang said

Finally, Wang provided some basic measures to help prevent the virus.

”The best way to prevent it is through the common measures, such as washing your hands, making sure that when you cough or sneeze you either do it in a tissue or you use the crook of your elbow. We have more advice on our website [here],” Wang said 

The University of Waterloo has taken action like restricting travels to China and Iran, enhancing screening protocols at the campus health centre, and asking any member of campus that has visited impacted areas to self-isolate for 14 days.