Kingston’s COVID-19 numbers are plateauing — but don’t get complacent, public health officials say

Public health officials say that although it's clear many in the region have been abiding by social-distancing rules, this is no time to get complacent. Kraig Krause / Global News

COVID-19 numbers are plateauing in the region, according to KFL&A Public Health‘s medical officer of health, Dr. Kieran Moore.

He said people in the Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington areas should give themselves a pat on the back, as they’ve clearly been adhering to social-distancing measures.

As of Monday, the region has seen 54 total cases of COVID-19, with one new case announced Monday afternoon. Nine of those cases have been resolved, Moore said.

READ MORE: 5 new cases of coronavirus in Kingston region over the weekend

Over the last several days, the region has seen only small rises in cases day to day, with an average of two to three new positive tests a day. This is unlike other regions in the country that have seen large jumps in the span of 24 hours.

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“This virus would like to see (itself) tripling every three to four days,” Moore said, however that has not been the case in the Kingston region for the most part.

But, Moore said, the hard work of staying at home and away from each other needs to continue in order to keep that plateau going. With long weekends on the horizon, Moore urged people to continue to stay home.

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“I am concerned about many of the religious holidays coming up. There’s Passover, then there’s Easter. And we’re really, again, asking all families to stay in your family unit, not to have multiple different families getting together,” Moore said.

Most importantly, if you are celebrating a holiday, Moore says it is imperative not to do so with family members over the age of 70, who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19.

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Moore said 30-day modelling for the Kingston region doesn’t show any significant rise in cases.

Modelling for Kingston shows a plateau in numbers from April to May. IDEA Model forecasts

As for Ontario as a whole, cases are expected to peak at the beginning of May.

COVID-19 modelling for Ontario shows a spike in numbers in early May. IDEA model forecasts

“When you do a large aggregate of all the activity across Ontario, it does model that we are reaching a peak in the beginning of May and then we hope to see a slow descent as long as we maintain the social and physical distancing, and everyone has their role to play to prevent the spread of this infection in our communities,” Moore said.

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Moore wanted to highlight that low numbers in the Kingston region are good, but he also hopes that people don’t get complacent. He’s advising everyone in the region to double down on their social-distancing practices since there is potential that a second wave of the virus might strike if people start co-mingling again.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — Ottawa’s state of emergency to remain in effect until end of June

He said all public health agencies in Canada are watching other countries like China, which was hit by the virus before Canada, and seeing how they are trying to restart their economies. Like some provincial estimates made Friday, Moore believes we’ll have to be strict about social distancing for many months to come.

“It can never go back, over the next year and a half, to what we’ve been doing previously,” Moore said. “In the next year and a half, we’ll have to maintain the physical distancing, have to be covering our coughs, have to be washing your hands and staying at home if we’re sick.”

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