Coronavirus update: Man from Sudbury confirmed to have COVID-19 attended Toronto conference last week

Here’s the latest news Wednesday from across Canada and around the world on the novel coronavirus:

8:06 a.m.: The president of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee said Wednesday he has received an apology from a board member who said the 2020 Games should be delayed a year to two because of the coronavirus.

Yoshiro Mori called a news conference at committee headquarters to shoot down the comments.

“There is no plan now to change our plans,” Mori said, speaking in Japanese.

He was referring to comments form Haruyuki Takahashi reported in the Wall Street Journal.

7:59 a.m.: As coronavirus cases crop up across the United States, some governors and other leaders are scrambling to slow its spread, banning large public gatherings, enforcing quarantines and calling National Guard troops.

With new deaths reported and the number of confirmed U.S. cases exceeding 1,000, lawmakers and health officials set up containment zones and quarantine areas and sought to limit contact with those who might be infected.

In Washington state, the governor was expected to ban gatherings of more than 250 people in virtually the entire Seattle metro area, home to some 4 million people. Schools and houses of worship were shuttered in a New York City suburb where a cluster of cases could be the largest in the nation, and the governor sent National Guard troops to help clean public spaces and deliver food.

4 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans today to announce federal funding to help provincial health-care systems cope with the increasing number of new coronavirus cases and to help Canadian workers who are forced to isolate themselves.

Business and labour groups say they want the federal government to loosen restrictions on employment insurance payments for people who are off work due to illness.

This would also make it easier for people with more precarious jobs to stay home and avoid infecting others.

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Monday that the government was “looking at taking some initiatives this week” to help workers, employers and provincial health systems.

There are few confirmed instances of community transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 in Canada, but the number of cases continues to grow.

So far, there have been 94 confirmed cases of the illness in Canada.

10:30 p.m. Tuesday: A man from Sudbury who came to Toronto for a conference last week has been confirmed to have COVID-19, health officials announced Tuesday.

According to a health medical officer at Public Health Sudbury and Districts, a man in his 50s arrived to the emergency department on Saturday after experiencing a cough and shortness of breath.

He has since been discharged and sent home to begin self-isolation.

“Having a confirmed case in our area is not unexpected given the transmission of this virus around the world,” Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, Sudbury & District Medical Officer of Health, said in the release.

The release said that health officials are now following up on information that he attended the mining convention in downtown Toronto on March 2 and 3.

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The annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre is said to attract more than 25,000 attendees from more than 130 countries.

Among the attendees were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier Doug Ford.

Sutcliffe says their focus is on stopping transmission and limiting the spread of infection. She also advises those who attended PDAC 2020 to monitor symptoms for 14 days as a precautionary measure, the statement reads.

Osobe Waberi

Osobe Waberi is a breaking news reporter, working out of the Star’s radio room in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter: @OsobeWaberi

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