Upcoming Quarantine at Nav Centre Not a Risk to the Public
The federal government announced Saturday that a special facility at the Nav Centre campus in Cornwall will soon become the site of a precautionary quarantine for Canadian passengers aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship currently docked in Japan. The government will be chartering a flight out of Japan to bring back Canadians who have already been under quarantine for nearly two weeks in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak in China.
“We are all concerned with what we are seeing on the news. It is understandable that people might be worried about the potential of the virus being introduced in this community but measures are in place to protect the health and safety of Cornwall and area residents and Canadians who are returning,” states Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, Medical Officer of Health at the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU). He adds that all quarantined individuals will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before boarding the plane in Japan. Passengers who have fever or respiratory symptoms will remain in Japan for medical care. Only those who have no signs of fever or respiratory symptoms will be allowed to board the chartered flight back to Canada.
Upon their return to Canada, flight passengers will be triaged and screened again at CFB Trenton. Those who have no symptoms during this screening will then be transported to the Nav Centre campus in Cornwall, where they will be screened again. Individuals who do not have symptoms will then spend another 2 weeks in a final precautionary quarantine at a special, isolated facility at the Nav Centre. They will be assessed daily for symptoms throughout the quarantine period.
Quarantine facility isolated from the rest of the Nav Centre campus
The Nav Centre quarantine site is an isolated facility with a self-contained ventilation system. The facility is separated from the rest of the public Nav Centre area and is accessible only by an indoor bridge and underground tunnel that are closed to the public. A medical clinic will be installed on the site to provide health and social services. Guests or visitors to the main Nav Centre campus will not be affected by the quarantine, and are not at risk as there will be no access to the quarantine site or individuals.
On Sunday, the EOHU visited the quarantine facility to inspect it. “We are satisfied that the infection control precautions and quarantine procedures will meet the needs of the quarantined individuals while also keeping the public safe,” Dr. Roumeliotis stated following the inspection.
Risk of ill individuals is low
The risk of quarantined individuals becoming ill is low, given that they have been in a prolonged quarantine with repeated health screenings. However, as a precaution, the EOHU is working with local EMS, hospitals and other partners to plan for safe transportation and medical care in the event a patient requires hospitalization. “We are well-prepared to handle any medical needs in a safe manner,” assures Dr. Roumeliotis.
To learn more about COVID-19 coronavirus, visit www.Ontario.ca/coronavirus, www.Canada.ca/coronavirus or www.EOHU.ca/coronavirus. Travellers should visit the Government of Canada’s Travel Advice and Advisories website at www.travel.gc.ca for destination-specific health notices and recommended precautions.