Some COVID-19 cases in Kingston not counted in local statistics

Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington (KFL&A) Public Health has confirmed that as many as four additional people have tested positive at Kingston’s COVID-19 assessment centre since the start of the pandemic, but were not reported locally. 

According to Jenn Fagan, Communications Officer for KFL&A Public Health, these would have been patients with home addresses outside of KFL&A Public Health’s jurisdiction, but who presented for testing locally, at the Memorial Centre testing facility.

“Cases are counted by health unit region,” Fagan said. Noting that this is in accordance with provincial guidelines for testing, she said “each region is responsible for following up with patients who reside within their region,” she said. “This avoids duplication of numbers.”

Fagan confirmed that KFL&A Public Health has tested individuals locally, whose home addresses are outside of the region, and that “less than five” were positive.

“If these residents were positive, their results would be sent to the public health unit from the region of their primary residence,” she said, and not reported as part of the KFL&A region’s statistics.

KFL&A Public Health would have knowledge of the result, she said, however the patient’s home jurisdiction would lead the follow-up communication.

If the person were to be hospitalized in Kingston, Fagan confirmed that this would also be reported as a hospitalization in their local jurisdiction, rather than in the KFL&A Public Health data set.  

Officially, Kingston has reported only two new cases of COVID-19 in the past month, on May 18, 2020 and June 1, 2020, and no hospitalizations.

Dr. Kieran Moore, Medical Officer of Health for KFL&A, said that because the number of out-of-town positive test results has been so low, he does not feel there is a risk of the public developing a false sense of security. 

Through out an extended period of low case activity in Kingston, KFL&A Public Health has continued to strongly encourage all residents to practice social distancing, hand hygiene and adhere to all provincial public health guidelines, in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

Fagan noted that KFL&A Public Health asks that all individuals attend the closest assessment centre to their residence.  KFL&A Public Health recommends that anyone who is tested is to self-isolate until the test results are back. 

“If the results are positive the individual must continue to isolate for fourteen days and will be followed by their public health unit during that time,” she said.

Samantha Butler-Hassan, Local Journalism Initiative

Samantha Butler-Hassan is a staff writer and life-long Kingston resident. She is a news junkie and mom who loves reading and exploring the community. This article has been made possible with the support of the Local Journalism Initiative.

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