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Peterborough area coronavirus case curve ‘flattening out,’ medical officer of health says

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Peterborough Public Health’s medical officer of health says the curve for coronavirus cases in its jurisdiction is “flattening out.”

In her weekly media conference on Wednesday, Dr. Rosana Salvaterra noted there have been only three new cases since her last press conference to bring the overall total as of Tuesday evening to 76. The three new cases are all related to one family after one individual returned from travel, she said.

READ MORE: Coronavirus outbreak declared over at St. Joseph’s at Fleming long-term care in Peterborough

According to Salvaterra, of the 76 cases, only five remain active and 69 are resolved. There have been two deaths related to COVID-19 complications in the health unit’s jurisdiction of Peterborough city and county, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation.

Only one outbreak remains declared which is at Kawartha Heights Retirement Home in Peterborough. The health unit has had 15 cases at long-term care homes and two cases at retirement homes. Last Friday, the health unit declared a two-month outbreak at St. Joseph’s at Fleming long-term care over.

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The region’s incident rate over the past week was approximately 1.4 per 100,000, with cumulative cases at 51.4 per 100,000 versus the provincial average of 160 per 100,000.

“The curve is nice and flat — not quite flat — but certainly flattening out, as we go further along,” said Salvaterra.

In its weekly situation update, the health unit notes sources of exposure to coronavirus have been linked to the following:

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  • 51.3 per cent of cases are close contact of an existing confirmed case
  • 31.6 per cent of cases are related to travel — any travel inside or outside of Canada is now considered a risk factor
  • 17.1 per cent of cases are related to community transmission/spread

“The 17 per cent rate is just under half of the provincial rate of 35 per cent,” she noted.

Salvaterra said nearly 7,000 residents have been tested for coronavirus which is approximately 1 in every 21 residents (or 4.7 per cent).

She recommended people utilize the province’s online assessment tool which was updated on Tuesday if they are showing signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

“Who should be tested? Really it’s anyone with symptoms, but especially people who are working with the public who are at a higher risk,” she said. “It’s important that they self-monitor on a daily basis. And at the first sign of symptoms, they should self-isolate and not go to work.”

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If the online assessment tool directs an individual to get tested, they can contact the Peterborough Regional Health Centre’s COVID-19 assessment centre at 705-876-5086. Anyone waiting for test results should also self-isolate, Salvaterra said.

“We are encouraging people to be aware of the signs and symptoms and to get tested as soon as possible,” she said. “Here in Peterborough there should be no problem accessing testing. We have lots of capacity here for testing.”

Salvaterra cautioned that even though the region’s first wave of COVID-19 continues to recede, she recalled a similar situation with the Spanish influenza pandemic a century ago when a second wave was the most deadly.

“No one can predict the trajectory of this COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.

READ MORE: 390 new coronavirus cases, 43 deaths in Ontario as total cases reach 23,774

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“Until we make it to the other side — perhaps in 18 to 24 months — we need to incorporate fast and easy access to testing as part of our reflex reaction to the development of any new or worsening symptoms that could signal a COVID-19 infection.”

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