A Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) employee working at Toronto Pearson International Airport has tested positive for COVID-19.
“We can confirm that an employee at the Toronto Pearson International Airport has tested positive for the 2019 novel coronavirus,” said CBSA spokesperson Rebecca Purdy in a statement to Toronto Storeys. “We can assure you that the employee is in isolation at home and following direction from local health officials.”
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Purdy said based on all available information and in consultation with Ontario Public Health, there was no exposure to co-workers or the public while the individual was at work since the individual was asymptomatic during the course of conducting business.
“However, out of an abundance of caution, we have proactively notified all employees who may have had contact with this individual, while respecting the privacy of the employee, and have taken steps to clean the location where the employee worked,” said Purdy.
Employees who may have been in contact with the infected individual have been asked to self-monitor for symptoms and to contact public health for direction. These employees may also be instructed by public health to self-isolate and remain at home for the recommended period.
This comes as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Canadians travelling to return home and advised against all international travel. The government is now also limiting inbound flights in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, Canada’s largest airport saw massive lines and lengthy wait times over the weekend as travellers returned home.
On Sunday, Ontario reported 42 new cases of COVID-19, the highest daily increase since the outbreak began, bringing the total number of cases to 145. There are currently 1,316 cases still pending results.
Toronto Public Health said everyone returning back to the city from international travel, including the United States, are asked to self-isolate and avoid contact with others for 14 days upon return.
#COVID19 UPDATE: All people returning to TO from international travel, including the United States, are asked to self-isolate and avoid contact with others for 14 days upon return. More info on self-isolation: https://t.co/jJYAGpfHYA
— Toronto Public Health (@TOPublicHealth) March 15, 2020