Public Health warns of increased risk for COVID-19 in KFL&A region

KFL&A Public Health. Photo by Lucas Mulder.

Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington (KFL&A) Public Health has issued a notice of an increased risk for transmission of COVID-19 as the region has entered its highest COVID-19 case load to date.

As of Monday, Apr. 12, 2021, KFL&A Public Health is monitoring 135 active cases of COVID-19, as well as over 580 high-risk contacts in the community. According to Public Health, their data indicates that, during this record-high number of cases, an increase of the variants of COVID-19 in the community currently has an incidence rate of 54.9 cases per 100,000 people (which aligns with the provincial Red-Protect level), and 1.56 per cent rate of positivity (which aligns with the provincial Orange-Restirct level).

“The vast majority of this sharp rise in cases are in younger people, aged 18 to 29 years of age; however, everyone must strengthen their efforts to contain its spread,” said Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for  KFL&A Public Health. “This increased level of COVID-19 activity impacts and threatens our health and lives as variants of the virus double the risk of someone being admitted to intensive care — and increase the risk of death by roughly 60 per cent.”

According to Public Health, their investigations have found that transmission of the virus is occurring during close, unprotected contact between individuals in work settings (including outdoors) and social gatherings where physical distancing is limited and face coverings are not being worn.

“We are relying on businesses and workplaces in KFL&A to enforce public health regulations — and for staff to follow regulations, especially limiting close contact to those in your household and wearing proper personal protective equipment at all times in the workplace setting,” Dr. Moore said.

Public Health stated that if our community is safe, our schools will be safe to continue in-person learning.

“It is important that we remember that we are all in this together,” the Health Unit said in a press release. “The continued efforts of individuals and families to follow the public health measures will help lower cases and help our community stay safe until vaccines are available to all.”

As always, Public Health strongly urges all residents to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Stay home
  • Limit trips outside your home to necessities
  • Limit your close contact to those in your household
  • Stay local and avoid travel outside the KFL&A region
  • Stay two metres apart from others outside your household
  • Wear face coverings and proper personal protective equipment when unable to physically distance whether indoors and outdoors
  • Work from home, if possible
  • Get tested if you have symptoms of COVID-19

This announcement comes following a weekend that saw the region’s second COVID-19 death, and after Dr. Moore declared at outbreak in the University District, the student housing area surrounding Queen’s University in downtown Kingston. Moore has forecasted April to be a very difficult and dangerous month in terms of the current pandemic, both in KFL&A and across the province.

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