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MOH addresses continued rise of COVID-19 cases in KFL&A

This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Image by the US CDC.

Residents in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) region began the week with the unwelcome news that over 100 cases of COVID-19 had been detected over the weekend.

This blossom of cases, paired with the region’s first experience of over 300 active COVID-19 cases at the same time, came after weeks of increasing outbreaks, hospitalizations, and deaths, the rates of which KFL&A has not experienced in the pandemic thus far.

Naturally, many area residents are left wondering what this means for the KFL&A community, and whether or not we can expect stricter restrictions moving forward.

“Unfortunately, the KFL&A region is continuing to see local cases rise. Our case activity over the past few weeks is consistent with the progression of the fourth wave of COVID-19,” said Dr. Piotr Oglaza, Medical Officer of Health (MOH) for KFL&A Public Health.

Indeed, the number of new cases daily across Ontario has remained high, though not continually increasing throughout the month. The province is also seeing increased numbers in outbreaks, hospitalizations, and deaths, and has sadly reached a milestone in the latter category with Ontario marking 10,000 COVID-19 deaths as of Monday, Nov. 29, 2021, according to data from Public Health Ontario.

And while KFL&A weathered the COVID-19 pandemic well in terms of hospitalizations and deaths due to COVID-19 until now, there are nearly 20 local cases in hospital currently, and the region has seen four COVID-19-related deaths in the past month – accounting for over 30 per cent of the COVID-19-related deaths in the region in total. The region’s tenth COVID-19 related death was announced today, Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021.

Data from KFL&A Public Health shows that the incidence of contracting COVID-19 has been over six times higher among those who are not vaccinated versus those who are fully vaccinated against the virus. That information combined with the rising pandemic-related numbers has prompted Dr. Oglaza to once again implore the community to get their COVID-19 vaccines if they have not done so already.

“There are thousands of individuals in our community that are not yet fully vaccinated, including children 5 to 11 years of age, but also many eligible adults,” Oglaza said. “Not having that layer of protection, and not having been exposed [to the virus] in previous waves, makes the unvaccinated more susceptible to COVID-19.”

With regard to whether or not stricter COVID-19-related restrictions will be instituted in KFL&A, the MOH said Public Health is still investigating.

“Through our case investigations, we continue to monitor our local data for emerging trends of patterns of transmission,” Dr. Oglaza said. “If more trends are identified, we will assess and address additional measures to help protect our community.”

For now, Oglaza suggests area residents adhere to the Public Health basics that have been underlined so many times throughout the pandemic:

“We must continue to be diligent to slow the spread locally,” Dr. Oglaza said.

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2 thoughts on “MOH addresses continued rise of COVID-19 cases in KFL&A

  • December 1, 2021 at 7:43 am
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    Closing the schools in favour of VIRTUAL LEARNING would certainly be a proactive step in the right direction…

  • December 1, 2021 at 8:13 am
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    The new Medical Officer must take off the Auto pilot and take the controls that he has at his disposal to start changing outcomes. High deaths are now arriving and school outbreaks growing and yet clashes in session, teams with audiences still playing and night clubs still open .
    Get on the job!

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