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Ontario Premier Doug Ford says that he is healthy and has no sign of coronavirus after attending a conference over the weekend, along with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, wherein an attendee later tested positive for the hyper-contagious virus.
Ford attended the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference on March 2 where he was joined by Minister of Energy, Mines, Northern Development and Indigenous Affairs, Greg Rickford and two prominent Indigenous chiefs from Marten Falls and Webequie First Nations. The conference was set up in order to sign an agreement to start developing the Ring of Fire access roadway.
After the documents were signed to authorize the construction of the roadway they all shook hands for the cameras.
The potential spread of the disease came from a man in his 50s who was at the conference and later confirmed to have COVID-19. His diagnosis was announced the following Tuesday after he returned to his home in Sudbury, Ontario. Public health officials confirmed that he had no recent history of foreign travel or close contact with someone else who had tested positive for coronavirus.
Sudbury’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Penny Sutcliffe said that the most concerning fact about the diagnosis was his lack of a travel history or close contact with someone infected however she is confident that the provincial health system is ready.
Spokesperson Ivana Yelich told CP24 on Monday that, “Premier Ford is in good health and has experienced none of the symptoms related to COVID-19," and that “he remains vigilant and encourages all Ontarians to do the same by taking the preventive actions recommended by our incredible health officials.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a speech at the conference as well, however he has yet to be tested for the virus. He says he is being monitored as a precaution. “I haven’t had a test, I am following Dr. (Theresa) Tam’s recommendation in order to keep myself safe and my family as well.”
The province of Ontario is asking the more than 23,000 people who attended PDAC to self-monitor for respiratory and other flu symptoms, as a precaution.
Seamus O’Regan, federal Minister of Natural Resources, was also at the conference and has since isolated himself in lieu of a persistent head cold, revealing his symptoms yesterday, in a tweet, saying he’s had "a persistent head cold for a few days,"
The minister has been tested for coronavirus and is currently awaiting his results.