Almost all of Kingston’s COVID-19 cases are resolved as of Wednesday.
According to new numbers released by KFL&A Public Health, there were no new cases identified in the region between Tuesday and Wednesday — the region’s total still stands at 55.
However, five more cases were deemed resolved Wednesday, bringing that total up to 50, which means there are only five active cases of the novel coronavirus in the city.
It’s good news, considering testing criteria has widened, and actual testing has considerably ramped up in the region, according to Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health for KFL&A Public.
“The guideline for who gets at the actual test has increased. So it’s fever and/or cough and/or increased difficulty breathing,” Moore said.
“And there are some other associated symptoms that we’re allowed now to test for, such as a progressive sore throat, hoarseness to the voice, increasing cough like a croup-like cough.”
As of Wednesday, 2,023 tests had been administered in the region. That’s 271 additional tests completed between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Nevertheless, Moore said Kingston is far from out of the woods, considering we just came out of a long weekend, which had potential to see family gatherings that could have spread the virus.
“We’re not out of the danger zone. It’s been good to date,” said Moore, saying that he won’t really be able to relax until later in next week, when the virus’ incubation period ends.
“I’ll be happy this Saturday and Sunday if the numbers continue not to rise. But it’s really going to be two weeks after Easter that we’re going to have to be attentive,” Moore said.
He also added that despite seeing positive results in low case numbers, this means the rest of the region are not immune to the virus, and will be vulnerable if social distancing regulations are relaxed.
“It’s at least a year before we’ll have a vaccine in our population level. Immunity is still very, very low,” Moore said.
“So we’re all at risk still for this infection. We’re still going to have to practice physical distancing of two metres or a hockey-stick distance.”
Moore said there’s still no clear framework on how the region, the province and the country will try to re-introduce things that have been cut out in efforts to slow the spread of the virus, but every level of public health is working on it.
“Our world has changed and we can’t let up just yet. And it will have to be a slow and phased response to alleviate or remove some of these measures that have been put in place,” Moore said.
He added that for the most part, large jumps in COVID-19 numbers in other communities have mostly been due to outbreaks at long-term care facilities, like those seen in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark.
“We’re all learning that once this virus gets into a vulnerable population, it can spread very, very quickly. So the numbers in Leeds Grenville don’t necessarily mean there’s large communities spread, it just means that they’ve sadly had a couple of outbreaks in vulnerable populations,” Moore said.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the rural region has over 200 cases of COVID-19, and has seen 25 coronavirus-related deaths.
The Kingston region has only seen one outbreak at Providence Manor, which was limited to a staff member and was lifted Wednesday.
“A lot of it is is can be luck. Luck favors the prepared, and I think our our facilities have been very good at preparing and protecting at present. But this could happen any day in our region. We all have to be realistic,” Moore said.View link »