There are 11 unresolved COVID-19 cases in Kawartha Lakes, according to the local health unit, all of whom are self-isolating in their homes.
The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit data shows 171 confirmed cases total for Kawartha Lakes, minus the 141 cases considered ‘resolved.’ There are also 19 COVID-19-related deaths tied to confirmed cases in the community.
The health unit is following up with these 11 people each day to ensure they are following all measures. Individuals who fail to self-isolate as required are subject to daily fines of up to $5,000.
Dr. Lynn Noseworthy, local medical officer of health with the health unit says that, like many other parts of Ontario, “we are seeing a limited number of new cases in the community each day – certainly nothing like we saw early on in the pandemic.”
“We are also very fortunate not to have experienced any further recent deaths due to the coronavirus in our health unit region,” she tells the Advocate, pointing out there are also no current COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care homes.
“The day-to-day COVID count continues to hold steady, and that is a hopeful trend,” she says.
The medical officer of health says Kawartha Lakes is certainly in a better place than a few months ago.
“We’re certainly not out of the woods, but it could be said we’re in a clearing where there is a bit of blue sky visible overhead.”
She calls the progress the community has made against COVID-19 “tremendous,” and “I want to thank every person in the City of Kawartha Lakes who is doing his or her part to take preventive measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We are truly in this together, and everyone is to be credited for doing their part to flatten the COVID-19 curve.”
Noseworthy says it’s important not to get too complacent though.
“We could easily slide backwards if we’re not careful and see another increase in local COVID-19 cases. There is also the very strong likelihood we may see a second wave of COVID-19 cases this fall and winter, so we need to be prepared and ever vigilant.”
The Advocate asked how she feels about Kawartha Lakes area possibly moving to a “phase 3 status” soon, assuming the numbers continue a downward trajectory. The province has hinted that this could come in as early as a week for some municipalities, assuming provincial numbers continue to improve.
Noseworthy sounded a note of caution.
“With COVID-19, as with so many other things in life, it’s important we take one step at a time and not rush too quickly into things. Each step forward involves meeting certain benchmarks or thresholds to ensure we can safely reopen our economy while also balancing the health and well-being of our community – that will be the same as we move towards any phase 3 reopening,” she says.
The health unit advises taking the following precautions against contracting the virus:
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your sleeve or arm.
- Practise physical distancing by avoiding close contact with others. This is essential to slow the spread of COVID-19. Always keep a minimum distance of 2 metres (6 feet) from other people outside of your immediate family.
- Wear a face covering or cloth mask in situations where keeping 2 metres (6 feet) from others is difficult. This includes wearing face coverings on public transit, smaller grocery stores/pharmacies, or when receiving essential services.
- Stay home if you or a family member are ill. This is essential to prevent the spread of illness. If you are unsure of what additional care is needed, use the Ontario government’s COVID-19 Self-Assessment tool (https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/)
- If you think you have COVID-19, you can also get tested at local assessment centres (https://www.hkpr.on.ca/2020/03/26/covid-19-assessment-centres/)