Kingston’s COVID-19 deaths in April surpass any previous month

Click to play video: 'April saw more COVID-19 deaths in Kingston area than any previous month'
April saw more COVID-19 deaths in Kingston area than any previous month
13 people died of COVID-19 last month, setting a grim record for most monthly COVID-19 deaths in the KFL&A region since the pandemic began – May 3, 2022

The 13 COVID-related deaths in the Kingston area in April exceeded the pandemic death count from any other month since the beginning.

“What changed was Omicron, and then ultimately, these relaxations and reductions in public health protections that occurred through the spring at the same time we were facing Omicron,” says Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Gerald Evans.

According to experts, Omicron, and specifically the BA.2 variant, has a smaller mortality rate than previous strains of the virus.

But because it’s so transmissible, the sheer number of cases resulted in an unprecedented death count in the Kingston region.

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“Case numbers rose quite precipitously,” Evans says. “Even though the percentage of people that are going to die from COVID is ten times less than what it was at the beginning of the pandemic, here we are in this transitional period…We’re actually seeing more deaths just because those case numbers rose so high.”

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According to public health, there are currently nine COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care and retirement homes.

“Sometimes, if someone is truly in a most frail health condition, even vaccine doses might not be enough protection, may not constitute a sufficient protection from serious outcomes,” says KFL&A Medical Officer of Health Dr. Piotr Oglaza.

“We are watching this very closely,” he continues. “We are monitoring the disease activity and following up, and working with long-term care facilities to manage outbreaks if they are happening in those congregate settings. And in recognizing these are very vulnerable populations.”

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Local medical experts say data, including wastewater samples and positivity rates, show disease activity in the region remains high, but it could soon plateau.

It will take a few more weeks to fully assess whether the end of sixth wave is on the horizon, but it has been the deadliest wave of the pandemic so far for the Kingston region.

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