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Chief Medical Officer encourages community kindness and shares COVID-19 data

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore in a virtual press conference on July 3 2020. Jemma Dooreleyers/ Kingstonist

In a press conference, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kieran Moore encouraged community kindness, and provided information about the patient in the Intensive Care Unit at Kingston General Hospital as well as the demographic data found surrounding the people in the community who have tested positive for COVID-19. 

According to Dr. Moore, , as of Friday, Jul. 3, 2020, five new cases have been found in connection with the someone who had gone to Binh’s Nail Salon and also tested positive, bringing the number of active cases in Kingston to 37. These cases are also believed to be “fourth generation” cases which means they were passed on from someone who went to Binh’s Nail Salon, not from going to Binh’s Nail Salon themselves. 

There is currently one patient in the ICU being treated for COVID-19. He is a male in his early 50’s with pre-existing medical conditions. According to Dr. Moore, he is currently in stable condition with the assistance of breathing aids. 

The testing centres in Kingston have collectively tested 6534 people since the initial active case from Binh’s Nail Salon. Due to the low numbers of infection, Dr. Moore says that Kingston seems to be doing a good job with containing the spread. 

“I thank the community for having responded to this threat so quickly and effectively by getting tested,” he said in the press conference. “I’m sorry about the lineups but we really appreciate everyone coming forward getting the test done and to all parts of the health system that are responding to this threat.” 

The Data

According to data analysis, 65 per cent of the people who have been infected by COVID-19 since the outbreak at Binh’s have been female. The average age of people who have been infected is 38.7. The average age of women who have been infected is 35.8 and the average age of men who have been infected is 43.9. 

According to Dr. Moore,  cases have been reported from all over the city and the occupations include health care workers, corrections services, restaurant workers, construction workers and retail workers. 

“Certainly if we hadn’t picked up on this so early through our community getting tested, this could have been missed and could have propagated in any one of those venues as well,” said Dr. Moore. 

According to Dr. Moore, although there was no specific hotspot in the city for spread, there was rapid spread among large social circles and he strongly encourages people to maintain the small social circle of 10 people or less. 

“The advice of keeping your social circle to less than 10 trusted and dependable individuals who you know are going to keep your circle of 10 as that dedicated group will really keep us in a good position going forward in the fall,” he said. “It still is going to be a best practice to keep your social circle tight and trusted and dependable.” 

“And that’s a big lesson learned from us. I know we hadn’t had much activity and we may have let our guard down and this is a significant reminder.” 

Community Kindness

On Jul. 3, 2020 Mayor Bryan Paterson and Dr. Moore put out a joint statement encouraging the Kingston community to be welcoming to people with license plates from outside of the region, the province and the country, citing the many different, essential reasons people from other areas could be traveling to Kingston. 

According to Dr. Moore, he felt this was important to say because he wants people to realize that Kingston is a kind and caring community. 

“There are individuals that are going to be in our community from elsewhere who are here for work, for education and for other reasons,” he said. “And they have a right to be in our community and to be treated with respect and dignity.” 

This release comes after much speculation and backlash from people online and within the community. Dr. Moore says that he wants people to remember that the risk in Kingston, Ontario and Canada remains relatively low. 

“The most important piece is that the risk across all of Canada now remains significantly low for COVID-19,” he said. “Yes, we must keep our guard up but all of the best practices that we’ve been recommending which complement each other and will protect us going forward.” 

“I think this event has shown that as a community we can respond to this threat quickly and effectively and we should continue to be kind, caring and welcoming,” he said. 

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