Five passengers, driver warned about COVID-19 exposure after ride-share trip from Toronto to Ottawa
A nurse uses a swab to perform a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Published Tuesday, February 23, 2021 2:19PM EST
Ottawa Public Health is investigating after a person with COVID-19 took a ride-share from Toronto to Ottawa, potentially exposing five other passengers and the driver to the novel coronavirus.
In a news release issued Tuesday, the public health unit said the hours-long trip from a private ride-sharing service began at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto at around 1 p.m. on February 16 and arrived in Ottawa at around 6 p.m.
“Ottawa Public Health can confirm this was not a ride provided through an app-based service such as Lyft or Uber. This was a private rideshare service advertised on Kijiji," the public health unit said in a statement provided to CTV News Ottawa.
The vehicle, which has been described as a white van, made stops at the Bayshore Shopping Centre, the CF Rideau Centre, and the St. Laurent Shopping Centre.
Public health officials say they believe the person who tested positive for COVID-19 was contagious during the trip and staff are trying to track down the other people who were in the vehicle that day.
“Ottawa Public Health is looking to contact the six individuals who should immediately self-isolate,” the news release read.
The passengers are also being advised to reach out to Ottawa Public Health and arrange to be tested for COVID-19.
Public health officials did not say whether the person who tested positive for the virus was symptomatic at the time.
“Ottawa Public Health recommends travel by car only with people in your own household,” the news release continued.
“If travelling with others outside of your own household, wear a mask, avoid any shared food or drinks, and avoid car travel with others if you’re sick.”
-With files from CTV News Ottawa's Ted Raymond