Dr. Marius Pienaar posted on social media that Prince Rupert has its first presumptive case of COVID-19. Doctors of B.C. photo                                Dr. Marius Pienaar posted on social media that Prince Rupert has its first presumptive case of COVID-19. Doctors of B.C. photo

Dr. Marius Pienaar posted on social media that Prince Rupert has its first presumptive case of COVID-19. Doctors of B.C. photo Dr. Marius Pienaar posted on social media that Prince Rupert has its first presumptive case of COVID-19. Doctors of B.C. photo

UPDATE: First presumptive case of COVID-19 in Prince Rupert

Doctor says it was a visitor, Northern Health won’t confirm

Dr. Marcus Pienaar, in a Facebook post today, has stated that Prince Rupert has its first presumptive case of COVID-19.

“Dear Citizens of PR. Finally IT has happened. We have our first presumtive [sic] case of Covid,” Dr. Pienaar stated.

“This was a visitor to our community and contact tracing is in place. The patient was intubated and transferred from this community.

“This is a good reminder to keep following the recommended rules re covid. And with the long weekend looming, please do not welcome visitors, family or otherwise, and stay isolated at home. The virus is here, amongst us. Now is not the time to relax our vigilance.”

Eryn Collins, Communications Manager for Northern Health told The Northern View, that while they are often aware of social media posts about rumoured, suspected and/or potential cases – Northern Health will not comment on such cases.

“Specific information on confirmed cases would only be shared by the health authority or public health officials in circumstances where close contacts of confirmed cases could not be contacted by public health, or there was potential public exposure on a larger scale,” Collins said.

“The cases that have been diagnosed to date in the NH region are across the north — in large and small communities — and in all three Health Service Delivery Areas; northern BC residents should assume that COVID-19 could already be present anywhere in our communities, and plan accordingly.”

“I’d also point to this weeks’ Oped by Dr. Henry, that talks more about the importance of privacy around cases of communicable disease, and COVID in particular,” Collins said,”As the Provincial Health Officer has been reminding us, the Covid-19 virus is present across the province – and the recommendations regarding physical distancing, staying home, and washing hands remain critical at this time.”

Inquiries to Dr. Pienaar have not immediately been returned to confirm the report.

More to come.

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