A child in Calgary has tested positive for COVID-19, Suncor confirmed to CBC News on Thursday, sending staff at a daycare in the company’s downtown headquarters into self-quarantine.
The news comes on the same day that Ontario said a baby in that province tested positive, marking the first two known cases affecting children.
The manager of the Pump-Kin Patch Child Care Centre confirmed to CBC News that she and her staff are in self-isolation.
Suncor spokesperson Erin Rees said the daycare was closed as soon as the case was confirmed.
The child was last in the daycare on March 6.
All children who attended the care centre and their parents were asked to self-isolate until March 20.
She said the daycare would remain closed until March 23.
Rees said Suncor hasn’t implemented any restrictions on its broader workforce, but has asked staff to self-monitor for symptoms.
For most people, the novel coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. The vast majority of people recover from the virus.
According to the Centres for Disease Control in the U.S., children appear not to be at increased risk from the virus.
“Limited reports of children with COVID-19 in China have described cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Gastrointestinal symptoms (vomiting and diarrhea) have been reported in at least one child with COVID-19,” reads the website.
“These limited reports suggest that children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms, and though severe complications (acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock) have been reported, they appear to be uncommon.”
Case brings Alberta total to at least 20
The case hasn’t been confirmed publicly yet by health authorities, but it would bring the number of confirmed cases in Alberta to at least 20.
On Wednesday afternoon, Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, reported five new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number in the province to 19 at that time.
All of the cases are travel-related, Hinshaw said, hours after the World Health Organization officially listed the global outbreak of the illness as a pandemic.
Hinshaw said one of the new cases involved an Edmonton man in his 30s who returned from international travel and began experiencing symptoms.
The man was treated on March 6 and 7 at the Misericordia Hospital for an unrelated condition, she said, before he tested positive for COVID-19 on March 9. He is now self-isolating. There is no risk to any patients or staff at the hospital at this time.
3 other new cases from Calgary zone
The other new cases in the province involved a man in his 20s and two women in their 30s from the Calgary zone, and a woman in her 30s from the central Alberta zone.
The five new cases that Hinshaw discussed Wednesday involved people who returned after travelling to Iran, Egypt, Spain, Mexico and the United States.
Though the 19 cases reported in Alberta by Wednesday involved people who travelled recently outside the country, Hinshaw said the province can expect to see some cases spread within the province.
The province’s testing capacity has increased in recent days, Hinshaw said. By Wednesday, the province had conducted 2,619 tests, with close to 1,000 of those performed on Tuesday alone.
As of late Wednesday, there were 118 presumptive and confirmed cases reported in Canada, with one death.
- 46 patients in B.C., including one death and four whom the province lists as recovered.
- 42 cases in Ontario, including five whom the province lists as recovered.
- 19 cases in Alberta.
- 9 cases in Quebec.
- 1 presumptive case in New Brunswick.
- 1 case among the Grand Princess passengers under quarantine at CFB Trenton in Ontario.
When asked how many people in Canada may become infected, Health Minister Patty Hajdu said Wednesday that the evidence is still not firm. But she noted that current reports are “somewhere in the 30 to 70 per cent” range.