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COVID-19: 10 new cases for Peterborough, MOH says avoid cottage travel after 5 cases at Airbnb

A Peterborough area Airbnb is being blamed for five cases of COVID-19 for another health unit. Chesnot / Getty Images

Peterborough Public Health is reminding residents not to travel to secondary or seasonal properties following multiple cases of COVID-19 linked to an area AirBnb.

According to the health unit on Thursday, another Ontario health unit traced five new cases of COVID-19 and 25 high-risk contacts to a Peterborough area AirBnb. The investigation revealed the host rented their property to a group from outside Peterborough Public Health’s jurisdiction (Peterborough, Peterborough County, Curve Lake First Nation and Hiawatha First Nation).

“This example serves as a strong reminder that indoor gatherings with people who are not from the same household pose serious risks and greatly increase the likelihood of spreading COVID-19,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, medical officer of health. “Indoor gatherings with those from different households are currently prohibited.”

Read more: COVID-19: Fleming College moves ahead in Severn Court Student Residence outbreak investigation

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The health unit on Thursday issued a reminder that travelling to secondary properties such as cottages during Ontario’s stay-at-home order carries the risk of spreading COVID-19. The health unit reminds residents that using, visiting or operating short-term rentals (such as cottages, cabins, etc.) are not permitted during the order.

“COVID-19 only spreads when people move, so while we are all under a province-wide stay-at-home order, this is not the time to visit the cottage,” said Salvaterra. “We all want to curb the third wave as quickly as possible, and our community is just starting to see the number of new cases trending downwards. Avoiding all non-essential travel and ride shares within and between Ontario regions is absolutely critical these next few weeks to help us gain control of the provincial outbreak.”

Visits to a secondary residence is only permitted for the purposes of performing emergency services and must be less than 24 hours in duration.

Cottage owners who wish to relocate to their secondary residence must plan to self-isolate for the first 14 days in order to comply with the stay-at-home order. Staying home also  applies to those who have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, as all public health measures must still be followed, said Salvaterra.

“Seasonal homes lend themselves to socialization, and this circuit-breaker will fail if we don’t stay in our primary residence and stick closer to home for our outdoor exercise.”

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Cases

On Thursday, the health unit also reported 10 new cases of  COVID-19.

On the health unit’s COVID tracker update issued at 4:24 p.m., the health unit reports 82 active cases of COVID-19 in its jurisdiction, up one from Wednesday.

The region’s variant case numbers continue to rise, now at 437, up from 422 about 24 hours earlier. The health unit reported its first confirmed variant case — a B.1.1.7 variant, first reported in the U.K. — on Feb. 23.

Of the health unit’s 1,217 cumulative cases since the pandemic was declared 13 months ago, 1,121 are now resolved (nine more since Wednesday) — approximately 92 per cent of the health unit’s total cases.

Outbreaks

Active outbreaks in Peterborough as of Thursday (the health unit generally does not identify workplace outbreaks unless there is concern of further community transmission):

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  • Workplace #8: Declared April 28. No case details were provided.
  • Workplace #7: Declared April 26. No case details were provided.
  • Champlain College residence (E/F tower): Declared April 16. Case details not provided but Trent University reports two student residence cases on Thursday, down two from Wednesday. There were 18 cases reported on April 19. The university says not all cases may be linked to the Champlain College outbreak.
  • Workplace # 5 in Peterborough: Declared April 13, no case details were provided.
  • Congregate living facility # 3 in Peterborough: Declared April 11, no case details provided.
  • Empress Gardens Retirement Residence: Declared March 22 when a resident tested positive. There have been two residents who died in hospital due to COVID-19 complications. Another resident and staff member tested positive on April 16. On Wednesday, April 21  an additional resident had a positive test and a negative one and as a result must quarantine.

Since the pandemic was declared, the health unit has dealt with 249 COVID-19 cases associated with 41 outbreaks. There were 248 cases reported Tuesday tied to outbreaks.

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Other COVID-19 data for Thursday:

  • Close contacts: 219, down from 233 on Wednesday.
  • 53 cases have required hospitalized care since the pandemic was declared  — one more since Wednesday. Eight required the intensive care unit, unchanged since last Friday.
  • Fleming CollegeReports no cases related to its Sutherland Campus in the city.
  • Peterborough Regional Health CentreReports 16 COVID-19 inpatients — down two since Wednesday — and at least 62 patient transfers from other areas, unchanged since Wednesday.
  • Death toll: 14 since the pandemic was declared, two linked to outbreak at Empress Gardens Retirement Residence; one to the Severn Court Student Residence outbreak in Peterborough; three associated with a November 2020 outbreak at Fairhaven long-term care in Peterborough.
  • More than 49,850 people have been tested for COVID-19.

School-related cases in the health unit’s jurisdiction:

Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board (board does specify if student or staff):

  • None as of Thursday.

Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board:

  • Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School in Peterborough — 1 case

Vaccination

On Thursday, the health unit reported there have been 56,409 total doses administered at Peterborough clinics. Of that, 52,143 residents have received their first dose. Another 4,211 have received their first and second doses.

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Vaccination appointments can be made either online at any time or by calling 249-494-5631 from Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Residents looking to cancel vaccination appointments are also asked to contact the call centre at 249-494-5631.

Read more: COVID-19: Peterborough Public Health vaccine supply to be redeployed to Ontario hot-spots

Peterborough pharmacies offering the AstraZeneca vaccine to anyone ages 40 and older: Costco Pharmacy at The Parkway, Walmart and Rexall, both on Chemong Road and High. St. Guardian. Appointments are required and can be made by calling the respective pharmacies.

 

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