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5 things we learned about COVID-19 in Northumberland / Kawartha this week

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Here is the latest news on COVID-19 activity, modeling predictions, school cases, vaccinations and more from Northumberland-Kawartha Region Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Natalie Bocking.

COVID NUMBERS:

The numbers grew slowly, but not significantly.

As of the press deadline, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR) has recorded 2,439 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic. (Almost 1,300 of these were in Kawartha; about 1,000 were in Northumberland).

The active cases were at 27.

Current high-risk contacts associated with cases continue to increase. According to the latest data, public health was monitoring 243 high-risk contacts.

“I will note that the number of high-risk contacts is twice as high as what we reported last week,” Bocking said in his last regional briefing. “This number is also higher compared to school age cases, and (with) entire classes identified as high risk contacts also helping to make this number higher than what we have seen previously over the past two years. weeks. “

In his previous weekly briefing, Bocking shared similar findings, saying that by that time high-risk contacts had doubled. In other words, ongoing social gatherings also play a role.

The seven-day (or crude) incidence rate was 15.3 cases per 100,000 population as of the press deadline.

TWO-DOSE COVERAGE AT 80 PERCENT:

As of September 27, HKPR had taken a major vaccination milestone with 80% of the population aged 12 and over receiving two doses of the vaccine. Coverage for the first dose was 84.7%.

About 25,500 residents are still eligible for the first doses.

Details on how to get arm jabs are available via www.hkpr.on.ca.

INFLUENZA AND COVID-19 VACCINE:

Bocking welcomes the news from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization regarding the direction that the COVID-19 vaccine can be given at the same time as other vaccines.

“This is all the more important as we move into fall and, more specifically, flu season.”

However, authorities are still awaiting further specific guidance in Ontario and more logistical details regarding the parallel roll-out of these vaccination programs.

NEW MODELING:

“What they (the Ontario COVID-19 Science Advisory Table) found is that since their last screenings several weeks ago across Ontario, we are actually at the lower end of what they predicted, and that’s really very welcome news, especially when we read the headlines about health systems and communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Ontario has achieved this by continuing to increase vaccination rates, but also by maintaining public health measures, Bocking said.

And modeling and predictions show that if Ontario is able to continue with these things, the province can continue to delay “any significant increase in cases.” As with previous predictions and modeling, there is a range, and that range depends on the actions people take, but if the province continues on that path, then Bocking said she hopes there won’t be. the significant peak previously predicted – although there is still that potential.

While this fall there may be times with more gatherings where it is possible to see additional spread (after holiday weekends, for example), the hope is then that there may be spikes. In the short term, thanks to good public health measures, cases, contact and outbreak management – as well as high and continued vaccination coverage – this overall increase will not occur or continue, Bocking said.

COVID IN SCHOOLS / YOUTH VAX:

Last year, this region had more than 200 cases associated with school-aged children and educators. So far this year, the number was 11 cases.

Since the start of the pandemic, approximately 17% of cases province-wide have been in the under 20 age group; across HKPR, that figure is around 16.5 percent.

Vaccinations for younger people (after more approvals) are important for several reasons, Bocking said.

This will contribute to disruption in schools (classes and bus cohorts being made redundant); this will help protect children / youth with the more infectious Delta variant circulating, and help protect a wider population level, helping to better control this virus, Bocking explained.


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