KFL&A Public Health is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 in the Kingston region Tuesday.
Dr. Kieran Moore, medical officer of health for the region, says a female under the age of 20 has tested positive for the coronavirus.
The Queen’s University COVID-19 tracker added one new case Tuesday, making for a total of four cases identified this week, and a total of 14 cases linked to the university since Aug. 31. Seven of those cases were identified in students living in residences, while the rests are living off campus.
Later in the day, KFL&A Public Health confirmed a child of elementary school age has also tested positive for the virus. The Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board confirmed a positive case of COVID-19 at its J.J. O’Neill Catholic School in Napanee Tuesday afternoon.
There have been 22 cases of COVID-19 in the region since Sept. 1. Twelve of those cases were found in females under the age of 20, only one of which was elementary-school aged.
Moore said public health has been identifying many of the region’s cases in the downtown area, many of which are Queen’s students.
Declaring an outbreak
The question being asked now is when will Queen’s University and KFL&A public health declare an outbreak. A few weeks ago Western University declared an outbreak after a house party was linked to dozens of cases on campus.
Queen’s has had 14 students test positive since the start of the school year— four just this week.
On Tuesday, the Canadian Chair of Emerging Diseases, Dr. Jason Kindrachuck, told Global News that there needs to be an epidemiological link to constitute an outbreak.
“You have to have something that’s tying those people together or are these just non-linked bands of people that that are showing up with the disease, but you’re not seeing that localized spread within the school,” said Dr. Kindrachuck via skype from Saskatoon, Sask.
KFL&A public health says there is currently no concern of an outbreak at the school since cases are sporadic and are not spreading through the Queen’s community.
“We haven’t declared an outbreak because it’s not more than what we expected,” said Dr. Moore. “If we do see community transmission within the school setting — the university or college setting — and it’s more than what we’re expecting, and we want to draw the attention to it, we certainly will declare an outbreak in partnership with our University or college partners.”
The region’s total is now at 134 with 118 cases resolved, making for 17 active cases.