On Saturday, Mar. 20, 2021, KFL&A Public Health confirmed that an individual who attended the central branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, located at 130 Johnson St, earlier in the week has now tested positive for COVID-19. KFL&A Public Health’s Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kieran Moore, made the public announcement in an effort to reach all possible contacts of the individual.
“As part of the COVID-19 case management and contact tracing process, KFL&A Public Health follows up with close contacts of individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19. If the contact tracing team are unable to identify close contacts of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, a public release may be issued to reach those contacts,” explained KFL&A Public Health in a release.
KFL&A Public Health recommends that individuals who visited the second floor of the library on Tuesday, Mar. 16, between the hours of 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals who develop symptoms should isolate immediately and get tested at one of KFL&A Public Health’s local assessment centres.
The disclosure comes as the transmission of COVID-19 continues to grow within the city, and especially within the downtown core, according to KFL&A Public Health.
“With 13 new cases already today, our local data indicates a rate over 30 cases per 100,000 confirming an upward surge of this virus and we are projecting much higher levels unless we take more action to curb its spread,” said Dr. Moore in a release on Saturday, Mar. 20, 2021.
“City of Kingston residents are facing a critical time in the fight against this virus. Everyone must strengthen their efforts to contain its spread. This increased level of COVID-19 activity impacts and threatens our health and lives, businesses, and the ability of our healthcare system to manage the increased demands of its services,” said KFL&A Public Health.
KFL&A Public Health said it is especially concerned for those individuals at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, including older adults and other vulnerable populations.
“As much as possible, those at higher risk from COVID-19 should stay home, limit social interactions to those in your household, and avoid trips outside the home by getting groceries and medicine delivered or having a family member or friend deliver essential items to your doorstep,” said Dr. Moore in the release.
“We must all continue to work together and stay vigilant—staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others, said Dr. Moore, and asking all City of Kingston residents to take the following actions immediately:
- Monitor for symptoms daily and get tested if you have any symptoms of COVID-19,
- Stay home if you have any symptoms – do not go to work or visit others,
- If someone in your household is symptomatic, they need to get tested and everyone else in the household must isolate until a negative test result is back,
- Avoid crowds and closed spaces,
- Limit close contact to your household (the people you live with),
- Do not travel outside of the KFL&A area,
- Wear a face covering and stay 2 metres apart from anyone who does not live in your household,
- Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often,
- Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth, and
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
On Monday, March 22, the KFL&A region will move from the Green-Prevent level to the Yellow–Protect level of the Keeping Ontario Safe and Open COVID-19 Response Framework, and with it, some new and specific measures.
“Owners and operators of businesses and organizations are strongly encouraged to carefully review the regulation and determine which sections apply to their sector,” said KFL&A Public Health.
In addition, Dr. Moore has revised and extended the Class Order for the City of Kingston that was originally put in place to address celebrations around St. Patrick’s Day. The revised section 22 order for the City of Kingston will take effect on March 22 and continue through to April 30, 2021 with a focus on limiting indoor and outdoor social gatherings to no more than 5 persons. For the City of Kingston, this Order supersedes the regulations and outlines additional requirements not set out in the provincial regulations.