Kingston Frontenac Lennox and Addington has over 50 active COVID-19 cases currently.
Last week the region’s chief medical officer, Dr. Kieran Moore, said many of the recent cases are tied to holiday travel — people “visiting family and friends not necessarily within KFL&A but going outside KFL&A.”
Dr. Gerald Evans, an attending physician in infectious diseases and internal medicine at Kingston Health Sciences Centre, says the modelling he’s been looking at doesn’t indicate numbers in Ontario will be declining any time soon.
“I think there’s going to be a re-evaluation of the lockdown measures, which right now are planned to end around Jan. 24 and ultimately I wouldn’t be surprised to see that being extended,” Evans told Global Kingston.
Evans says the Pfizer vaccine is expected to arrive in two weeks.
“We’re getting thousands of doses, not tens of thousands but thousands.”
Evans says KHSC has a task force working with KFL&A Public Health to organize clinics, prioritizing long-term care workers and residents.
“Our plan right now is to bring particularly long-term care staff to our centre to receive their vaccine,” said Evans. “Long-term care residents obviously need to be immunized where they are and that has been a bit of the role that’s been looked at for Moderna.”
The Moderna vaccine is seen as being more transportable because it doesn’t have to be stored in as cold a temperature as the Pfizer vaccine.
Evans says other professions on the early vaccination priority list include paramedics, health-care workers in the acute hospital sector and seniors over 70 years old living in the community.
Evans estimates it could still be several months before vaccinations are available to the general public.
“I would expect the general public certainly should be looking that by around mid-spring or so there will be opportunities opening to get vaccination clinics that they can attend,” said Evans.
Until then, health officials continue to ask people to practise physical distancing, mask wearing and frequent hand hygiene and not to travel unless it is essential.
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