Media Release: First Case of COVID-19 is confirmed by WDG Public Health (March 16, 2020)

March 16, 2020

March 16, 2020: Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health has confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19 in our area. A male in his 40s tested positive for COVID-19 after returning from Atlanta, Georgia.

This individual was tested at Headwaters Health Care Centre, where all appropriate infection control precautions were followed. He is now in self-isolation at home and is being followed by Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health.

“This does not change our protocols around containment of the COVID-19 virus in our area,” said Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health and CEO of Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “We are following up with any contacts of the individual and ensuring the public is aware and protected from the spread of this virus. It is important to know that 80 percent of people with this virus will have mild to moderate symptoms. Anyone who is concerned should phone their health care provider, call Telehealth or visit an assessment centre.”

To protect the health of the public and prevent community spread, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health is investigating and following up with close contacts.

The best ways to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including COVID-19, are to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or with alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
  • Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces daily. Use a disinfectant and follow manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Call ahead if visiting your health care provider for infectious symptoms so they can plan to protect others from spread.

As this is an evolving situation, we continue to remind everyone about the importance of using credible sources to stay informed. We update our website frequently as new information is confirmed. For more information go to  Or visit Ontario’s website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.

Media Contact:

Chuck Ferguson

Manager, Communications, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health

1-800-265-7293 ext. 4374