Posted: March 5, 2020

The Region of Waterloo Public Health has confirmed a case of COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Waterloo Region.

We understand that there is some concern in the community with the recent announcement that the Region of Waterloo Public Health has confirmed a case of COVID-19 in Waterloo Region. The risk to Ontario still remains very low.

This individual had recently travelled to Italy, where she contracted the illness. She arrived at Grand River Hospital’s emergency department where she was safely screened, and tested for the illness. She has been isolated at her home, since.

The safety of our patients, families, staff and volunteers is always our priority. Planning for COVID-19 (coronavirus) has been underway at the hospital for several months.

·         There is no risk to hospital staff or patients.

·         All hospital protocols were followed and managed well by staff.

·         Please continue to monitor your own health, practice proper hand hygiene, often and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

For questions or concerns, or more information please contact the Region of Waterloo Public Health: 519-575-4400 or visit their website (will open in new window).

How Grand River Hospital is preparing for COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Our infection prevention and control protocols are in place at all times. We are closely monitoring COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) and are confident in our staff and the plan we have developed.

Staff at the hospital are currently screening patients for COVID-19, and based on their symptoms and travel history, will arrange for testing. While the risk to Ontarians is low, we are taking these precautions and working with our partners like Waterloo Region Public Health to ensure a safe environment for all.

Is there any impact on services at Grand River Hospital?

There are no restrictions or changes at this time. The hospital is safe for patients, visitors and staff.

What you should do to avoid the spread of illness

There is little evidence to suggest that this virus spreads easily from person to person. However, practicing typical hygiene can help:

·         Wash your hands often. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

·         Cough and sneeze etiquette: cover your mouth and nose with your arm to reduce the spread of germs. If you use a tissue, throw it away as soon as possible and wash your hands.

·         Limit contact with others if you are unwell, unless you need to see a health care professional.

What is COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

This is a flu-like illness. Symptoms include:

·         Fever; and/or

·         Cough;

·         Difficulty breathing

Most people will recover from the common COVID-19 on their own.

Information about COVID-19 and Canada/Ontario

·         The risk to Canada and Ontario is very low

·         In Canada, we have 22 confirmed cases. 

How are GRH staff screening potential cases?

If people arrive with:

·         Fever and/or cough;

·         Difficulty breathing;

·         Pneumonia;


·         Have recently travelled to/had contact with someone who has travelled to any of the affected areas (China, Singapore, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea) or had contact with someone who has coronavirus they will be cared for appropriately.

What should you do if you think you have the novel COVID-19 (coronavirus)?

If you

·         have travelled to to any of the affected areas (China, Singapore, Italy, Iran, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea) within 14 days and develop symptoms or

·         been in contact with someone who is sick within 14 days after travelling to any of the affected areas or

·         are a contact of someone with confirmed COVID-19

Avoid contact with others and call your healthcare provider.

Waterloo Region Public Health recommends you call ahead to allow health care staff to manage your case appropriately.

If you are sick and need to come to Grand River Hospital for an appointment or test, please call ahead to your clinic or department to allow healthcare staff to manage your case appropriately.

For more information, you can access or contact:

Public Health Agency of Canada: 1-833-784-4397

Waterloo Region Public Health has information about prevention and travelling.

Ministry of Health: 1-866-797-0000

Canadians travelling abroad are encouraged to consult the Travel Health Notice for China on

WHO video

WHO: Advice for the public