Coronavirus: Peterborough Public Health recommends mask wearing; 1 in 11 tested

Drive-thru COVID-19 testing in Peterborough-area wrapping up soon
Drive-thru testing for COVID-19 wraps in the city finishes Friday, but Peterborough's Medical Officer of Health is hopeful the government will provide funding to allow testing stations to continue.

Peterborough Public Health says approximately 1 in 11 residents in its jurisdiction has been tested for the novel coronavirus.

In its weekly situation update, the health unit reports 13,550 people have been tested — 2,450 since last Wednesday’s update. That works out to approximately 1 in 11 residents tested in the health unit’s jurisdiction of Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Alderville First Nation — a testing rate of 9.2 per cent.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Peterborough hospital at 90% bed capacity; 20,000 handmade masks distributed

“We are finding few very positive test results,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health. “That gives me confidence that the virus isn’t out there. If it were, we’d be finding more positive results.”

Approximately 6,600 tests have been conducted at drive-thru clinics in Peterborough and Peterborough County over the last three weeks. Meetings will be held Thursday to discuss possible extension of the clinics which wrap up Wednesday in the county and Friday in the city.

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“We’re hoping it will continue,” said Salvaterra. “We are averaging about 500 people a day between the two sites – rural and city.”


However, she cautioned that people should not be complacent.

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Salvaterra recommends people wear masks at a regular basis – especially in settings near others, at medical appointments and in stores while maintaining a two-metre distance from others outside one’s social circle. She recommends businesses and others to have mask supplies available for clients or guests.

Salvaterra noted she “doesn’t leave the house without it” in reference to her mask. She said people need to properly dispose of masks or reuse cloth masks by washing them after each time out in public.

“I think we all need to accept that wearing a mask is part of the new normal in this COVID-19 reality,” she said.

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Among the 93 confirmed cases, eight required hospitalization (three in the intensive care unit) and just four cases remain active.

The health unit said its incidence rate is approximately 63 cases per 100,000 residents compared to the provincial average of 219 cases per 100,000 residents.

Peterborough Regional Health Centre reported Tuesday the last COVID-19 patient was discharged earlier this month.

Source of COVID-19 exposure:

  • 50.5 per cent of cases are by contact with another case
  • 25.8 per cent of the cases are related to travel
  • 21.5 per cent are by community transmission
  • 2.2 per cent still to be determined

Salvaterra says the case numbers have been consistent but she’s not looking too far ahead just yet and people must remain vigilant.

“Take it as it comes and be prepared for either scenario – either an improvement as we’ve seen in Ontario or a setback,” she said, referencing new cases being reported in China. “We have to never lose sight of the fact that we’re in a pandemic that’s going to last 18 to 24 months – if we’re lucky. Or if — if — we get a vaccine. We have to prepare that this is going to be a long haul.”

More to come.

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