Statement from the Chief Public Health Officer on the release of repatriated Canadians from quarantine following 14-day stay at CFB Trenton
February 21, 2020 - Ottawa, ON - Public Health Agency of Canada
OTTAWA - On February 7, 2020, the Government of Canada repatriated individuals and their families from Wuhan, China, which is the epicentre of the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Out of an abundance of caution, and to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 within Canada, these Canadians were transported to Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Trenton for a 14-day quarantine.
This action was taken in the interest of the health and safety of all Canadians — both those we brought home from China and those in Canada. I would like to thank the repatriated Canadians and their family members for their patience, cooperation and contribution to public health.
Today, I can confirm that the 180 Canadians from the first Government of Canada-chartered flight from Wuhan, as well as the 39 Canadians who returned to Canada on a separate flight chartered by the United States, have been released from quarantine.
The Government of Canada has worked with provincial and territorial partners, as well as local public health authorities and non-governmental organizations, to ensure that social services are in place to support these Canadians and their family members after they leave CFB Trenton. The Government of Canada is also helping to facilitate their return home by providing transportation to Toronto before they continue onward to their final destination. To respect the privacy of the individuals leaving quarantine, we will not be releasing further details of their travel plans.
I want to assure Canadians that the risk of spread of the novel coronavirus within Canada remains low, including in those communities where repatriated Canadians will return following quarantine at CFB Trenton. All of the quarantined individuals being released today remained asymptomatic for the novel coronavirus throughout the 14-day quarantine period and, as a result, pose no risk to others and can return to their usual activities.
I urge everyone to treat these repatriated Canadians with respect and compassion. Before they were able to return home, they dealt with an uncertain and stressful period living within the epicentre of this outbreak.
For the Canadians who arrived on February 11 aboard the second Government of Canada-chartered flight and remain at CFB Trenton, the quarantine is anticipated to end on February 25, 2020.
Public Health Agency of Canada
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