Cruise ship passenger tests negative for COVID-19

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By Nick Seebruch
Cruise ship passenger tests negative for COVID-19
Stock photo of the main entrance of the Nav Centre (Nick Seebruch/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, Ontario – One of the quarantine patients at the Nav Centre has tested negative for COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

The passengers of the cruise ship Diamond Princess arrived at the Nav Centre yesterday, Friday, Feb. 21 and entered quarantine. One patient was tested for the virus as a precaution after they indicated they were feeling unwell.

A spokesperson for Public Health Canada confirmed to Seaway News on Saturday that the test had come back negative.

There are 129 Canadian passengers from the Diamond Princess who are under quarantine at the Nav Centre, and an additional 22 individuals who served as the flight crew and health care personnel during their trip home.

The public was updated on Friday about the situation at the Nav Centre after the passengers arrived.

“We remain very confident that the risk of of the novel coronavirus for Canadians and the people in the Cornwall community remains low at this time,” said Rhonda Kropp, Director General for Public Health Canada.

“At no point will members of the general public come in contact with the individuals who are in quarantine,” she added.

Dr. Paul Roumeliotis of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) explained that there was a protocol in place in case any quarantine patient tests positive for the Coronavirus.

If any patient tests positive, they will remain in place in quarantine and treated on site.

Dr. Roumeliotis explained that local hospitals had been briefed as a precaution.

“We have a protocol in place that we will safely transfer (a passenger), if required…and we will take the necessary infectious control precautions to transfer the patient,” explained Dr. Roumeliotis. He also said that Public Health Agency and Ontario Emergency Management Assistance Team personnel are carrying out operations at the Nav Centre, and no local nurses and/or doctors are on site.

“The collaboration with…partners…has been crucial to ensuring that we were very well prepared for this day to come and in order to welcome Canadians home,” said Kropp, commending the work of numerous agencies involved.

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