Health unit issues COVID advisory for potential exposure at Pembroke gym

The Renfrew County and District Health Unit has issued an advisory for a “potential low-risk exposure” after confirmation of a 37th case of COVID-19 in Renfrew County on Friday.

The health unit issued a statement on Sunday morning that a person who tested positive for COVID-19 visited Planet Fitness in Pembroke on September 5, 2020.

The health unit says that “if you visited Planet Fitness in Pembroke on September 5, 2020 and have COVID-19 symptoms, a COVID-19 testing clinic is being offered on Monday, September 14, 2020 at RCDHU, 7 International Drive, Pembroke, from 9 am to 10:30 am.”

“If you are not able to be tested this coming Monday, please contact the Renfrew County Virtual Triage Centre (RVTAC) at 1-844-727-6404 to arrange for testing.”

The health unit says “all necessary precautions are being followed to ensure the safety of the public.”

“RCDHU is conducting case and contact management with appropriate individuals. All affected individuals will receive specific instructions.”

On its website, Planet Fitness says it has “voluntarily and temporarily closed our facility due to a possible isolated COVID-19 exposure.”

“We are conducting an additional full sanitization of the facility and will reopen ASAP.”

Dr. Robert Cushman, acting medical officer of health for Renfrew County and District, is urging residents to be “over cautious with any COVID-like symptoms, whether mild or moderate, and that everyone must be self-monitoring for any new or worsening symptoms.”

“It is better to stay home even with the slightest symptom as we want to continue to move forward and not undo all of our hard work thus far.”

The health unit confirmed the newest case of COVID-19 in Renfrew County on Friday, stating that the case was an individual at Fellowes High School in Pembroke.

The health unit said it is “working closely with the Renfrew County District School Board to ensure necessary measures continue to be in place to protect all staff, students and the public.”

“RCDHU staff is actively investigating the case and following up with immediate contacts to prevent further spread of COVID-19. All affected parties will be contacted by RCDHU and advised accordingly.”

Friday’s case was the fourth new confirmed case of COVID-19 in Renfrew County in a week and brings the county’s total to 37 since the pandemic began in March.

Overall, there have been 13 confirmed cases in the Renfrew area, nine in Arnprior and area, six in Petawawa, six in Pembroke and area, two in Deep River and one in the Barry’s Bay area.

Two of the county’s cases have been residents of long-term care or retirement homes, 17 have been health care workers (including 12 who work outside of the county), and there are now 18 cases that are considered cases of community transmission.

All four of the individuals recently confirmed to have COVID-19 are in self-isolation at their homes.

The health unit says it is important that “we all continue adhering to the necessary public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.”

“In addition to staying home if you are feeling unwell, these measures include: wearing a mask while in enclosed public spaces or when maintaining a 2-metre distance is not possible, cleaning your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub, practicing physical distancing, and following proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.”

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