This Version Posted: April 6, 2021
Local Residents Urged to Stay Vigilant and Follow Public Health Measures After Spike in Local COVID-19 Cases
Until everyone has been vaccinated, the local Medical Officer of Health is urging people to remain vigilant and continue to follow public health recommendations to help stop the increased spread of the COVID-19 virus in the area.
During the past seven days, staff from the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) have conducted investigations on more than 94 new confirmed COVID cases. The bulk of these new cases are in Northumberland County, but additional cases have been confirmed in the City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County.
“We know the majority of cases in Ontario are variants of concern and this is also the case in our area,” says Dr. Natalie Bocking, Medical Officer of Health for the HKPR District Health Unit. “As we have been hearing, these variants spread more quickly and easily than the original COVID virus and we are seeing that happen as well.”
With older adults living in long-term care homes and retirement homes now vaccinated, many of the latest cases tend to be those younger in age. Of the 94 new cases seen in the past seven days, more than 26 per cent of the new cases were among youth aged 14 to 18 years of age. This finding has prompted the Health Unit to work with two of its local school boards to suspend in-person learning at two secondary schools in Cobourg.
“When it comes to COVID-19, younger people still tend to experience milder symptoms and recover fully,” says Dr. Bocking. “Our concern is that some family members that they bring this virus home to – their siblings, parents and grandparents – will not fare as well and become quite ill. We have worked with the school boards in areas where we are seeing active transmission to try and stop any further exposure or spread that could potentially occur either through the schools or in our communities.”
The Health Unit is continuing its mass vaccination clinics in Northumberland County, City of Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County. As well, the Province has expanded the program to have local pharmacies and primary health care providers vaccinate local residents.
These are all steps in the right direction but until more vaccine is delivered locally to increase the number of people who can be vaccinated, Dr. Bocking is urging people to continue to follow the public health recommendations:
- Stay home if ill, even if you think the symptoms are caused by allergies.
- Continue to keep a distance of more than six feet between yourself and others outside of household family members.
- Wear a mask when out in public, or you are unable to maintain a six feet distance from others when outdoors.
- Stay home except for essential reasons (groceries, medication, work).
- Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently with soap and water.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Dispose of the tissue and wash your hands.