Coronavirus: 13 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Peterborough, total now at 41

Peterborough still playing catch up with COVID-19 test results
The Peterborough region had a total of 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 by noon on Thursday. But test positive test results are lagging from labs, the region's health unit cautioned. The number of cases increased to 41 by 5 p.m. Thursday.

UPDATE 5 p.m. Thursday:

Peterborough Public Health reports there are now 41 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Six cases have been resolved. The health unit says 842 people have been tested with 534 confirmed negative and 267 remain under investigation.


ORIGINAL STORY published at 12:30 p.m.

After a two-day reprieve of new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Peterborough, the number of cases increased by 10, the region’s health unit reported noontime Thursday.

Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health for Peterborough Public Health, said that as of noon Thursday there were now 38 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its jurisdiction which includes the City of Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation. The statistics are according to provincial data reported as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, noted Salvaterra.

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READ MORE: Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Peterborough remain at 28 for second consecutive day

Specific details on the 10 new cases were not provided, however, Salvaterra said none of them appear to be community transmission as they have links to travel or exposure to another confirmed case.

The outbreak declared at St. Joseph’s at Fleming last month now has three confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 – two residents and a staff member. None are hospitalized. Other test results at the long-term care home are still pending.

Salvaterra says it appears the outbreak at the facility was a result of community transmission.

“We couldn’t find a link with a known case or with someone who travelled,” she said. “We are considering this outbreak to be an example of community transmission.”

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Of the 38 confirmed cases in the region, five have been resolved (recovered), the health unit noted.

Peterborough Regional Health Centre is now reporting any hospitalized cases. An update was not provided on Thursday. On Wednesday the health unit reported four cases at PRHC with two of them in the intensive care unit.

On Thursday morning, the Ontario government reported 401 new cases, bringing the provincial total to 2,793 cases.

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To date 820 people in Peterborough and Peterborough County have been tested – only people who are symptomatic receive the test, Salvaterra said. Of those tests, 491 have been confirmed negative while 291 remain under investigation. Salvaterra noted that close contacts of people who have tested positive are being tested at the health unit’s downtown office on King Street.

Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario confirms 401 new cases, bringing total to 2,793
Coronavirus outbreak: Ontario confirms 401 new cases, bringing total to 2,793

The medical officer of health also said the turnaround times for test results are” improving” at both Public Health Ontario labs in Toronto and Kingston where samples are sent for screening.

She again stressed the importance of staying at home unless essential supplies are need, continue frequent handwashing and active physical distancing to all help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“This is the critical time – we are right in the thick of it,” she said.

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She cautioned that she doesn’t think the region has “peaked” yet for cases of coronavirus.

“Once we’ve peaked and the numbers are coming down, we might be able to say when we can discontinue certain health measures,” she said. “But if anything, it’s gearing up.”

Salvaterra did say there has been “good compliance” in the city when it comes to physical distancing and self-isolation.

However, she said the health unit can’t rely on hearsay when it comes to reports of people returning from vacation and not self-isolating for 14 days. Information such as date of re-entry to Canada along with names and phone numbers need to be provided.

It’s not yet known how home checks for those in quarantine will be conducted, she noted.

More to come.

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