The Ministry of Health confirmed there are two more residents infected with coronavirus on Sunday, raising the province’s number of confirmed COVID-19 cases to 31.
This includes a woman who tested positive for coronavirus and was a passenger on a GO bus to Richmond Hill from Pearson International Airport earlier this month. The transit agency said it was informed of the woman’s case late on Saturday.
According to Metrolinx, prior to being tested for the virus, the woman boarded a GO bus at Pearson after returning from Iran on March 2 at 10:25 pm and travelled to Richmond Hill Centre. The woman was symptomatic and was wearing a surgical mask during the trip.
Metrolinx says the woman sat in accessibility seating and wasn’t near anyone else and had minimal contact with the bus driver, who had been notified and spoke to public health.
Since the bus was “relatively” empty, public health officials say they do not require passenger information as the risk is “very low.”
To ensure the safety of passengers, the bus the woman travelled on has already received a long-acting anti-microbial treatment and has been thoroughly cleaned nightly.
York Region says the woman has since remained in self-isolation since returning home and York Region Public Health is actively following up with everyone that was in close contact with the woman.
She sat in accessibility seating, not near any others & had minimal contact with our driver who has been notified & spoken to public health. The bus was relatively empty for trip & public health officials do not require passenger info as the risk is very low, they say. 3/4
— Metrolinx (@Metrolinx) March 8, 2020
This is the latest case of someone who tested positive for coronavirus using public transit in the Greater Toronto Area. On Friday, officials confirmed a man in his 40s who had returned from Las Vegas had used the TTC, MiWay, and GO transit for three days before testing positive.
While the spread of the virus remains low in Canada, transit agencies, including the TTC and Metrolinx, have announced extra cleaning precautions to keep employees and customers safe.
The province says at this time the virus is not circulating locally, however, given the global circumstances, Ontario is actively working with city and health partners to plan for the potential of local spread.
The province said it continues to carefully monitor this situation and encourage residents to stay informed by regularly reviewing credible information sources.