KFL&A region continues to have worst COVID-19 case rates in Canada – Kingston |
The Kingston region remains atop the list when it comes to COVID-19 cases per 100,000. KFL&A reported 154 new cases on Wednesday and active cases are now at 1,557.
During a media call on Wednesday, medical officer of health Dr. Piotr Oglaza said KFL&A Public Health continues to see high testing rates, but that it’s also coming with high positivity rates.
This leads Oglaza to believe there “might be a number of cases we’re not detecting through testing” in the community.
“It is something that we will continue monitoring very closely and continue to monitor very closely,” Oglaza said. “There is strong evidence that there is spread happening throughout the community and the predominant pathogen, the predominant variant right now is Omicron.”
The reason for this, he says, is that those who become infected with Omicron will show symptoms early on and have a shorter incubation period. He says they may not get tested right away and would likely spread before realizing they’re infected.
“It is entirely possible that there might be a lot of exposure happening in the community in various settings that are happening inadvertently from someone who is symptomatic and is attending those locations,” Oglaza said.
While the region seems to be trending in the right direction as far as passing through this wave of Omicron, people should be mindful of how they spend their holidays, as the variant can spread quickly in small social settings.
With COVID-19 cases reaching an all time time in the Kingston region, restrictions are put in place for local businesses
While the 18-to-29 age group continues to dominate the new cases in Kingston, the fact that the city’s post-secondary student population has dwindled for the holidays may not lead to fewer cases.
He says many of the cases in that group are coming from people who don’t have an affiliation with Queen’s, St. Lawrence College or Royal Military College.
According to its COVID-19 tracker, Queen’s University reported just over 350 new cases for last week, when as of Tuesday active cases in Kingston were 1,539.
The good news, it seems, is that so far the Omicron variant has not produced any severe cases among those infected. Oglaza says all current hospital cases remain from the Delta variant.
“We may not see that impact very soon, but it is concerning that that once we start seeing increased spread among the older adult population, that could lead to some numbers,” he said.
Vaccination rates continue to be strong in the region. Oglaza reported that KFL&A has reached 90 per cent of first doses administered for ages five and up, and has given more than 56,000 booster shots so far.
“That’s also very, very excellent and a high number considering that this third dose rollout started relatively recently and on December 20th, we have administered 9,000 doses throughout the region.”
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