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COVID-19: 8 new cases for Peterborough area; second vaccine doses completed for LTC residents

Peterborough Public Health reports all long-term care home residents have received their second dosage of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Canadian Press file

Peterborough Public Health reported eight new cases of COVID-19 and two more variant cases on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the health unit’s COVID-19 tracker website as of 4:10 p.m., there are now 81 active cases in its jurisdiction, down from 86 active cases reported Tuesday. The health unit serves Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation.

There are now 89 presumed variant of concern cases, another increase from the 87 variants reported Tuesday. The health unit’s first confirmed variant of concern (the B.1.1.7 United Kingdom variant) was reported on Feb. 23.

Read more: COVID-19: Fleming College will impose ‘harshest’ sanctions for students involved in residence outbreak

A presumed variant is defined as having tested positive for a mutation, but it requires further genomic sequencing to determine its specific strain, the health unit notes.

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Testing at the Public Health Ontario labs generally takes 7-14 days. Once a strain is identified, it is then placed on the tracker’s “confirmed” case list.

The outbreak declared Feb. 20 at Severn Court Student Residence in Peterborough’s west end has contributed to the majority of new cases and variants, prompting the health unit’s jurisdiction to move into red-zone status on Monday.

An outbreak also declared March 5 at Trent University’s Champlain College residence is linked to the Severn Court outbreak, the health unit said.

Case updates were not provided Wednesday, but as of Monday morning there were 51 cases linked to the Severn Court outbreak. A section 22 order has been placed at Severn Court on Wilfred Drive and Fleming College closed its Sutherland Campus for two weeks beginning March 1.

On Wednesday, Fleming College reported seven cases related to the Sutherland Campus; Trent University reported nine active student cases, eight related to those living in residence and one student living off campus. The university notes not all of the cases are connected to Champlain College outbreak.

 

COVID-19 case data for March 10, 2021. Peterborough Public Health

 

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Of the health unit’s 745 cumulative cases (a case was added to a previous day) since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, 655 are now resolved — approximately 88 per cent. There were 642 cases reported resolved on Tuesday.

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The only other active outbreak for the health unit is at Regency Retirement Home in Lakefield, which was declared on March 6 (case details unavailable).

Since the pandemic was declared, the health unit has reported 170 cases linked to 27 outbreaks — one more case since Tuesday.

The number of close contacts dropped to 220 on Wednesday after there were 226 reported 24 hours earlier. Peterborough Regional Health Centre reports Wednesday no inpatients with COVID-19 — the first time since Feb. 18. There have been 17 patients total as a result of transfers from other areas.

Since the pandemic was declared there have been 26 hospitalized cases of COVID-19, three of which required the intensive care unit — unchanged since Thursday.

The pandemic has claimed the lives of nine residents in the health unit’s jurisdiction, three of them associated with a November 2020 outbreak at Fairhaven long-term care in Peterborough.

Long-term care homes

On Wednesday, the health unit also announced it had completed administering second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine for all local long-term care home residents, resulting in a 90 per cent uptake.

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“This day has been long awaited and we are proud to have helped protect Peterborough’s most vulnerable seniors from COVID-19,” stated Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health.

“While this is a big step towards preventing and controlling COVID-19 in the community, public health measures remain in place. It is important that even those who are vaccinated do not let their guard down at this time.”

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The health unit also continues to administer vaccines during its Phase 1 plan which includes long-term care home staff, retirement home residents and staff, residents of Curve Lake First Nation and highest priority health care workers.

Vaccinations begin this week in Hiawatha First Nation and in clinics for urban Indigenous people.

Vaccinations begin next week for residents ages 80 and older.

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Testing

On Wednesday, the health unit reported that more than 44,500 people have been tested for the novel coronavirus. To get tested for COVID-19, book an online appointment. Testing for those without symptoms or with mild symptoms is held at the Northcrest Arena in Peterborough.

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