WINDSOR, ONT. -- Windsor's emergency response team met with health and city officials Monday to update the public on the region’s preparedness to contain COVID-19.

"It’s not a matter of if it makes it here, it’s a matter of when it comes here," said Mayor Drew Dilkens.

There are no confirmed cases of the virus in the region, according to Windsor Essex County Health Unit (WECHU). Twelve people in Windsor and Essex have been tested for the virus; all came back with negative results. There are fewer than 15 people that have completed the voluntary 14-day quarantine.

It’s "inevitable" that the virus will eventually reach the region considering its nature, according to Dr. Wajid Ahmed, WECHU’s medical officer of health. 

"Given the extensive travel that everyone is having at this time and the feasible temperatures that we have, it helps the virus to survive for a longer period of time." 

The city wants the public to know it’s well prepared to handle COVID-19.

"The entire team of healthcare partners is working together with the city. There is no need to panic," said Dilkens. 

Windsor Emergency Response Team

They are asking the public to self-quarantine for two weeks instead of going to the hospital if they show symptoms of the virus. If conditions become severe, they suggest calling a local health unit for further instructions. 

"The symptoms are usually self-resolving, this is a viral infection. There is no treatment that you’re going to get specifically at the hospital that’s going to help you," said Dr. Wassim Saad, chief of staff at Windsor Regional Hospital. With no known cure for the virus, the hospital’s current treatment is supportive only. 

"Severe cases are minimal. If you are not elderly, if you don’t have comorbid illness, the fatality rate is significantly less than one per cent," Saad added. 

Windsor regional hospitals have been screening specifically for patients who have travelled to China and respiratory illnesses since early January. Patients that test positive for the virus will be placed in a negative pressure room, where airflow is isolated. There are currently nine rooms at the Metropolitan Campus and 11 at the Ouellette Campus. 

For more information on COVID-19, visit WECHU's website.