While the Novel Coronavirus is continuing to spread worldwide, Hastings-Prince Edward Public Health says the risk level to contract the virus locally is still low.

That’s the word from Public Health’s Medical Officer of Health Piotr O’Glaza who notes the virus is spreading worldwide into countries like Italy and Iran. While the seventh case of the virus has been confirmed in Ontario, he says that it’s not yet something that you need to worry about. “Having said that, we are taking this very seriously,” O’Glaza adds.

“Public Health is conducting what we call local tracing,” he says. O’Glaza explains that anyone locally that health officials think may have come into contact with someone who has contracted the Coronavirus is assessed and their risk level to the community at large is determined. “We may recommend certain measures to protect them and the public,” he says.

“Even though there are more cases every day, the numbers are not growing exponentially,” O’Glaza says about the overall picture.  There have been over 84,000 cases globally in every continent except Antarctica. China accounts for nearly 80,000 of the confirmed cases and just under nearly all of the over 2,800 deaths. 34 people have died in Iran, which is the highest number outside of China.

Canada currently sits at 14 cases and no deaths.

O’Glaza says while looking at just the numbers may be frightening to some, he points out that the containment efforts are paying off. The World Health Organization has declared the virus a global issue, but it’s not yet a pandemic. For that to happen, O’Glaza explains the virus needs to be “established” in all seven continents. “You also have to see transmission happening in those regions along with an increased number of cases,” O’Glaza adds which he points out is not yet happening.

While the risk level is low locally, O’Glaza says Public Health officials locally are prepared to deal with the virus should it become a problem in their region.