Sudbury’s 1st COVID-19 case: Geologist calls experience ironic given prior concerns – by Angela Gemmill (CBC News Sudbury – April 6, 2020)

Stewart Hamilton calls it ironic that he contracted COVID-19 while attending a large international mining conference in Toronto. That’s because the Sudbury geologist had been concerned about the rapidly spreading novel coronavirus before he even went to the event.

At that time there were a growing number of cases already in Toronto, but that’s as far as it had spread in Ontario. Hamilton had even mentioned his concern about attending to his co-workers in the weeks leading up to the Prospectors Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) conference from Mar 1 to 4. The annual event is attended by thousands of people from dozens of countries.

Hamilton decided to continue on with his travel plans and attended for four of the five days. Despite his best efforts, he contracted the virus, and a week after returning to Sudbury test results confirmed his suspicions.

Hamilton became the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Sudbury, and northern Ontario. “I’m convinced that if PDAC was held one week later it would have been cancelled, and I said this a week before PDAC,” Hamilton told CBC News.

“In fact I was so concerned about it, I sought permission from my boss to move to a different hotel because I thought the hotel we were in was a higher risk because of its location.” “Sure enough I’m the guy that got it, so life is nothing if not ironic.”

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