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KFL&A Public Health expresses concern for rising COVID-19 cases

Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A Public Health, is increasingly concerned about rapidly rising cases of COVID-19 in the region, he said in a video update to the community on Sunday, Mar. 21, 2021. According to Dr. Moore, as of Sunday morning, the KFL&A region has 85 active cases, with 13 new cases on Saturday and seven cases identified on Sunday morning.

Testing is showing that most of those cases are Variants of Concern, with higher transmissibility and more serious symptoms, said Dr. Moore. “I expect that case count to rise so the risk to our community is going up. We’ve been monitoring the data provincially (and) the same is occurring across Ontario.” According to Dr. Moore, 50% of the samples across Ontario are testing positive for Variants of Concern. In KFL&A, that number is even higher, with 70% of the tests coming back for Variants of Concern.

“Most likely that’s the B117 variant,” said Dr. Moore, “so I’m very concerned if that’s going to become the dominant strain in our community because it can spread more rapidly and may have an increased risk of morbidity or mortality associated with it.”

“Now is a time where we really have to adhere to small social gatherings of five or less, indoors or outdoors, if we’re going to try to be able to limit the spread of this virus in our community,” said Dr. Moore. “We’ve also seen multiple points of contact where there was risk in the community.”

This week, KFL&A Public Health named two restaurants (Miss Bao and Lone Star restaurants) with known exposures to COVID-19, as well as at TresOrs, a local jewelry store and the Kingston Frontenac Public Library downtown. “When I start to see multiple areas of risk across the community, I get concerned, so if you’re older, if you have comorbidities that put you at risk for COVID-19, like any disease of the heart or the lungs or immune suppression, please, the next couple of weeks are crucial for you to stay at home as best you can, minimize your social exposures, please avail yourself of our immunization strategies,” he said.

Starting tomorrow, anyone 60 or over can get immunized through a pharmacy, said Dr. Moore. “You can go online or phone them to book an appointment, and there’s still availability.”

Mass immunization clinics are also starting as of Monday for those aged 75 and over, said Dr. Moore, and those appointments can be booked online as well.

“We need to build population immunity, through immunization, to best protect the vulnerable in our community,” said Dr. Moore. “And we all have a role to play to decrease the risk of this virus. It’s taking off across Ontario, and we’re no different, it’s starting to take off within KFL&A. Now, the next several weeks will really tell where we’re going to head in KFL&A and I’m asking, sincerely, please, please, please, decrease the number of social contacts you have, decrease the risk for you and your family to acquire this virus at this time.”

The full video can be viewed here.

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