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Kingston COVID-19 numbers double over the weekend, from 17 to 34

Kingston's public health unit announced several new COVID-19 cases in the region over the weekend.
Kingston's public health unit announced several new COVID-19 cases in the region over the weekend. Global Kingston

Editor’s note: KFL&A Public Health originally reported 35 total cases of COVID-19 in the Kingston region, but later changed that number to 34. The story has been changed to reflect that.

KFL&A Public Health has announced a total of 34 cases of the novel coronavirus disease COVID-19 in the Kingston region.

On Friday, the public health unit had identified a total of 17 cases. That number jumped considerably over the weekend to 35, the largest rise in numbers since the Kingston region public health unit identified its first case.

READ MORE: Health-care professionals at 2 clinics test positive for COVID-19 in KFL&A region

KFL&A Public Health says public health officials are still investigating the details of each case.

In a teleconference call on Monday, Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer for health for KFL&A Public Health, said about half of the patients identified in the new batch of numbers were close contacts of patients who had already tested positive for COVID-19.

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The others were recent travellers, Moore added.

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The significant increase, from 17 to over 30 in just a few days, may have to do with the fact that public health officials are closely monitoring all close contacts of positive cases and testing them if they show symptoms. This is public health doing its “due diligence,” Moore said.

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Secondly, Moore said there are still those returning travellers, especially snowbirds coming back from the United States, who have higher potential of contracting the disease.

Although details about the new patients have yet to be released, one Kingston-region patient is currently in hospital. The man is in stable condition, but had oxygen levels that health-care workers felt needed to be addressed.

The only other patient in the Kingston region who was hospitalized due to the virus has been released from the hospital and is in good condition, Moore said.

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Last week, of the 17 cases reported by Friday, Global News learned that at least three were found in health-care workers, including one at a family health clinic in Northbrook, Ont., and another at Kingston General Hospital. Moore confirmed that a third health-care worker tested positive for the virus in Verona, Ont.

Moore said as of Monday, none of the health-care workers who tested positive for the disease had any close contacts infected by the disease.

He attributed this to the health clinics’ dedication to assessing and testing their own workers, and their quick action to shut their clinics down.

READ MORE: 3 residents, 1 staff member test positive for COVID-19 in Almonte, Ont., long-term care home

Moore also added that despite seeing outbreaks of COVID-19 in long-term care facilities in Ontario, there are no such outbreaks in the Kingston region at the moment.

As of Monday morning, KFL&A Public Health had assessed 749 patients, with 674 tests being done.

Moore said testing capacity has increased in the Kingston region, with several labs opening up to assist in assessment.

As of Monday, Moore said it takes about 24 hours to receive lab results locally for COVID-19, something he considers a quick turnaround.

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