Coronavirus surge a ‘wake up call’ for Kenora area, northwestern Ontario medical officer says

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High- level meetings are occurring at Queen’s Park Thursday as the number of daily coronavirus cases is not dropping. Travis Dhanraj has more.

A medical officer in northwestern Ontario says a concerning surge in COVID-19 cases is wake-up call for the region.

Dr. Kit Young Hoon is urging residents in the Kenora, Ont., area to take precautions by avoiding unnecessary travel and not socializing with other households indoors.

Read more: Coronavirus: 18-year-old fined after hosting large house party in northern Ontario

The top doctor for the Northwestern Health Unit says now is the time for residents to act to avoid the “devastation” COVID-19 has brought to other parts of the country.

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The health unit says the region’s positivity rate for COVID-19 is now six times higher than it was in the summer, and is similar to some southern areas in the province.

Read more: Florida couple charged in northern Ontario after failing to self-isolate

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In the past 17 days, the health unit says 10 positive cases have been reported in the Kenora region, which is close to Manitoba, with three people hospitalized.

The health unit covers about one-fifth of the province’s land mass and includes 19 municipalities and 39 First Nation communities.