Case resolution does not mean the end of COVID-19 in KFL&A: ‘We must not let our guard down’

Graphic by Samantha Butler.

On Friday, May 8, 2020, Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health released data confirming that all known cases of COVID-19 in the region have been resolved.

With a total of 61 known cases in the area thus far in the pandemic, over the last three days, Public Health has reported one case resolved each day. That data is confirmed by the Ministry of Health’s published data, and welcome news for everyone in the region, where testing is still happening more and more each day.

But that doesn’t mean it’s time to open up for business as usual, or a sign we’re able to gather with friends and family the way we once did and so desperately want to again.

“We must not let our guard down and become complacent. We must remain vigilant. There is COVID 19 activity all around our region,” said Dr. Azim Kasmani, a resident with KFL&A Public Health.

“While we don’t have a significant number of active cases, there is always the potential that a small seeding event can lead to a significant outbreak. We have to use this time to prepare for the next wave, the coming influenza season, and continue to practice good hand hygiene and infection prevention measures,” he continued. “We must continue to follow the Provincial direction and guidelines to ensure that our case count doesn’t quickly grow. The measures they have put into place are to protect us and are based on science and evidence.”

Graphs via KFL&A Public Health on Friday, May 8, 2020.

Indeed, the regions surrounding the KFL&A region have numbers that more than triple those in here. As of Thursday, May 7, 2020, the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit reported a total of 313 known cases of COVID-19, with 43 deaths due to the coronavirus in the region. In the City of Toronto, there have been a total of 7,114 cases, with 532 deaths, and that doesn’t include the cases and deaths within the Greater Toronto Area. In Ottawa, there have been 1,603 confirmed cases, and 148 deaths as of Thursday, May 7, 2020. Those numbers include 23 outbreaks in Ottawa institutions.

So, while there is certainly cause for celebration here in Kingston, where our case numbers haven’t approached three digits at this point, it is due to our diligence and commitment to the health of ourselves and each other that our numbers remain so low. To keep it that way, we must continue what we are doing: staying at home as much as possible, washing our hands regularly, maintaining physical distance of six feet or two metres from others outside our homes, and staying connected in ways that keep us all safer. And, according to public health experts across the country, we need to be prepared for additional waves of the virus in all communities, including here in KFL&A.

“We have seen the impact this virus can have on the most vulnerable in our Province and how quickly it can overwhelm health care systems” Kasmani said. “Now is the time to continue to stay home as much as possible, stay safe, shop local and support businesses in our community, and prepare for what lies ahead.”

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