Today, Monday, Dec. 6, 2021, Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health at Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health confirmed a significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases in the KFL&A region.
According to a release from KFL&A Public Health, the COVID-19 cases are rising quickly as they are being driven by the Delta COVID-19 variant, which is transmitted easily in social settings, and can cause greater severity of disease.
All individuals that are experiencing symptoms should get tested for COVID-19, the agency urged. Additionally, unimmunized, or partially immunized eligible individuals are strongly encouraged to get fully vaccinated to protect themselves and those who are more vulnerable to serious illness, Public Health stated in the release, reminding residents to continue to adhere to public health measures to protect our community, keep our schools and workplaces safe and open, and prevent further impact on our healthcare resources.
“Due in part to the high vaccinations rates in our community, we have managed to keep schools and workplaces open; however, now we must prioritize measures to stabilize cases in the region,” said Dr. Oglaza. “Moving forward our key priorities will be immunizing vulnerable populations, especially younger individuals who are not vaccinated; continue contact tracing and case management, particularly in the school setting; strongly recommend active screening in public places and workplaces; and testing for symptoms of COVID-19.”
Under the advice of the Medical Officer of Health at KFL&A Public Health, all residents are asked to:
- Get fully vaccinated when you are eligible to help protect those most vulnerable to severe illness.
- Screen for symptoms of COVID-19 daily.
- Stay home, isolate, and get tested if you have any symptoms, even mild symptoms.
- Avoid social gatherings (and if attending or hosting a gathering restrict to no more than 10 people in the private dwelling).
- Limit visiting others, or having others visit you and stay overnight.
- Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with and wear a mask in indoor public spaces, or any time physical distancing is not possible.
- Consider curbside pick-up, delivery, or alternate hours for shopping, especially if you are at a higher risk for illness.
As well, all businesses, workplaces and schools are asked to:
- Continue active screening for students and employees.
- Encourage and support students and employees to stay home when sick.
- Support those who are more vulnerable to illness to access your business by offering curbside pick-up, delivery, or alternate business hours.
- Ensure students and employees are following public health measures.
- Collect accurate contact information and check for vaccination status, as required.
- Consider offering Rapid Antigen Tests to employees by visiting Provincial Antigen Screening Program | COVID-19 (coronavirus) in Ontario to review information and determine eligibility.
- Limit the volume of music at businesses, to be no louder than the volume of a normal conversation.
- Provide employees the option to work from home.
- Reconsider social events at work (e.g., holiday lunches or parties).
“I want to thank and recognize those who are already doing their part to achieve these priorities—getting fully vaccinated, screening daily for symptoms, and getting tested,” added Dr. Oglaza.
KFL&A Public Health reminds those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or are identified as a high-risk contact that it is a legal requirement to self-isolate as directed by public health.
Getting fully vaccinated is the most effective way to prevent the spread and reduce the impact of COVID-19, the agency stated. Along with mobile clinics and pharmacies, vaccine clinics at Portsmouth Olympic Harbour, the Cataraqui Centre and KFL&A Public Health’s Napanee office are open and offering vaccinations by appointment or walk-in. For more information on clinic locations, hours, appointments, and third dose eligibility, visit KFL&A Public Health’s website or call 343-477-0172.