The number of cases of the novel coronavirus in Peterborough more than doubled over the weekend to reach 28, according to the region’s health unit.
Peterborough Public Health announced at noon Monday that there have been 15 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 since Friday morning’s update of 13 cases. Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health, says four of the new cases remain under investigation to determine if there is any travel history or if there is any contact to an existing case. One is suspected to be an occupational exposure for a health-care worker who works outside the city.
Specific details on the cases were not provided during the media conference but are expected to be released by the province on its registry, Salvaterra said.
“We expect the numbers to grow,” she said.
Four of the 28 confirmed cases are hospitalized. Salvaterra noted three of the cases have been resolved. All other cases remain in self-isolation.
Salvaterra said she expects the number of cases to rise in its jurisdiction of Peterborough, Peterborough County, Hiawatha First Nation and Curve Lake First Nation.
“We are preparing our health-care teams,” she said.
To date, 673 people have been tested for COVID-19, she said, with 422 confirmed negative. Another 224 people are still awaiting test results.
With respect to the outbreak at the St. Joseph’s at Fleming long-term care facility, Salvaterra says it’s status quo with one resident testing positive for COVID-19 and three staff members remaining in self-isolation. No one is hospitalized.
“The outbreak certainly appears to be under control,” said Salvaterra. “We aren’t seeing spread — and all their symptomatic residents remain within the home. We are still awaiting results on one resident that was tested.”
On the outbreak and nine deaths at the Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon (under the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge, District Health Unit), she said she wouldn’t be surprised to see the same experience in Peterborough, “given our older population and that we have a lot of long-term care homes.”
“That said, we are doing everything we are capable of to prevent it,” she said. “We are working hard to keep those people protected to reduce the pandemic spread.”
Salvaterra also took a moment to criticize reports of some businesses allegedly refusing to allow health-care workers to enter.
“(Health-care workers) know better than anyone how viruses are spread,” she said. “They also need to shop for their families during their time off.”
The health unit encourages residents to continue physical distancing and to use its online self-assessment tool if you are showing signs of COVID-19.
“I hope people are taking this very seriously — we don’t have a lot of tools in our toolbox,” she said. “We have no vaccine. The only tool we have is physical distancing. We do expect this to get worse before it gets better.”
More to come.