WINDSOR, ONT -- The Chatham-Kent Public Health Unit has confirmed its first two positive cases of COVID-19 within the municipality.

CK Public Health was notified Wednesday afternoon by the Ontario Public Health Laboratory of a second positive case. The individual is an 81-year-old woman who had recently travelled to the United States.

Authorities say she was admitted to hospital in isolation on March 16 and remains in stable condition. CK Public Health staff have advised the woman’s close contacts to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

This news comes less than 24 hours after the first reported case, a 52-year-old Chatham resident, contracted the illness during travel while on a cruise in the Caribbean. He returned home last week.

“They were feeling just fine getting off the cruise, they got here and eventually they came down with symptoms,” said Chatham-Kent mayor, Darrin Canniff.

The municipality became aware of the positive result late Tuesday night and reported it to the community during a briefing Wednesday morning.

“The patient arrived at Chatham-Kent Health Alliance’s Emergency Department, where they were safely screened and tested for the illness,” the health unit said. “The patient has been isolated at home since. All hospital protocols were followed and managed well by staff.”

But not before coming into contact with 11 other individuals, according to mayor Canniff. He says those people are now on a 14-day self-isolation but he’s unsure if they’ve been tested.

Infection retention and control protocols are in place “at all times and are currently heightened with screening points for all patients, visitors, staff and physicians,” say health unit officials.

“It’s something that we fully expected with what’s going on here, there’s a curve of people that are going to be getting it, but we want to minimize those cases,” said Canniff.

For that reason, the CKHA advises individuals to please continue to monitor their own health and practice proper hand hygiene and social distancing measures. These efforts will slow the community spread of the illness.

“If we take no precautions, one person could go out and infect 20 people and so on and so on depending on how much they’re out there and how infectious they are,” Canniff told CTV Windsor during a FaceTime interview from his Chatham-Kent home. “Before you know it we could have a whole population of individuals out there. What we won’t want is to flood the system, as far as the hospitals go. that’s the real danger here.”

A special COVID-19 Assessment Centre is slated to open in Chatham Thursday.