April 1, 2020

Doreen Armstrong-Ross, President & Chief Executive Officer of the Dryden Regional Health Centre (DRHC), Dr. Ian Gemmill, Acting Medical Officer of Health with the Northwestern Health Unit (NWHU), and Mayor Greg Wilson, City of Dryden join forces to appeal to the residents of Dryden and surrounding areas to do all they can to help minimize the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the community, senior leaders with the DRHC, NWHU, and the City of Dryden are focused on limiting the significant risk of spread expected to touch our community.

"It is of the utmost importance that we heed the advice and direction of medical experts across the globe and practice social distancing, self-isolation, quarantine, and diligent hand washing and cough/sneeze hygiene," emphasizes Armstrong-Ross.

Recognizing the rapid spread of the virus in countries and cities around the World, infection rates are estimated to be between 30-70% of local populations if social distancing, quarantine and isolation are not followed. Approximately 5% of those testing positive require hospitalization and acute care. Locally, the Dryden Regional Health Centre serves a catchment area of approximately 14,000 people. An infection rate of 30% may mean that 210 people would need hospitalization and care.

"Please stay at home," stresses Armstrong-Ross. "We are doing all we can to ensure we are prepared to take care of the people of Dryden including working with local, regional, and provincial partners on plans addressing surge, critical care, and personal protective equipment. Without the support of the community to self-isolate, quarantine, and practice physical distancing, the fact remains that resources are limited and may be quickly overwhelmed."

Everyone can help. Stay at home. Keep a 2 metre distance from others and avoid public spaces. Wash your hands frequently, scrubbing with soap and water for 20 seconds each time.

"This is a key time for our hospital, health care providers, and our community," states Mayor Greg Wilson. "We are relying on everyone to do what they can to support our hospital in providing quality care for everyone. Except for staff in essential workplaces and designated household members running essential food and medication errands, please Stay Home."

"We recommend that all residents assume that COVID-19 is circulating locally in their community and take appropriate precautions, such as physical distancing. After exposure to the virus, it takes a few days to get symptoms and if tested, a few more days to get test results. Because of this, current lab results show a picture of COVID-19 from a week or two ago. Please keep in mind that the positive effects of physical distancing that residents are doing now, won't be seen in local lab results for a couple of weeks," explains Dr. Ian Gemmill.

Information about local COVID-19 test results can be found at .

The Dryden Regional Health Centre, Northwestern Health Unit, and the City of Dryden, implore your assistance in 'flattening the curve' of spread and protecting our families, friends, and loved-ones from COVID-19. PLEASE STAY HOME.


For further information, please contact:

Doreen Armstrong-Ross, Chief Executive Officer
Dryden Regional Health Centre
Box 3003,
Dryden, Ontario P8N 2Z6
Telephone: (807) 223-8201 Extension 2260

Mayor Greg Wilson
City of Dryden
30 Van Horne Avenue
Dryden, Ontario P8N 2A7
Telephone: (807) 223-1147

Dr. Ian Gemmill
Acting Medical Officer of Health
Northwestern Health Unit
210 First Street North
Kenora, Ontario P9N 2K4
Telephone: (807) 468-3147


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BP.O. Box 3003, 58 Goodall Street, Dryden, Ontario, Canada, P8N 2Z6     x807-223-8200     TTY807-223-8295     * ^

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